Gábor Holtai’s short film, Second Round (Második Kör) managed to secure a place among the nominees at the 45th Cleveland International Festival, a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards. Which means that the winner of this festival is eligible to be nominated for the category of Best Short Film at the Oscars – a prospect that’s accessible now for this 18-minute Hungarian movie.
In the last few weeks Hungarian films and series received quite a lot of appearances in international media. Think of how Gábor Krigler’s (and Joyrider’s) “Balaton Brigade”, Dénes Nagy’s “Natural Light” and Bence Fliegauf’s “Forest – I See You Everywhere” blew up at the Berlinale and how Lili Horváth recently received the award for Best Director at the Dublin Film Festival. Now it seems that another Hungarian hit might be around the corner.
The “Second Round” paints an alternate reality, where having a child is limited by strict bureaucratic rules, and the parent-candidates have to go through a multi-round test to prove their suitability. For Kinga (Rozi Lovas) and Zsolt (Áron Molnár) this is the last chance as Kinga’s age is starting to become a liability. The pair managed to tackle the first round, but in the second one, they have to face unexpected difficulties.
The film which was made thanks to the Médiatanács trough their Magyar Média Mecenatúra Program and which had its premiere at the 2020 BuSho Film Festival already stirred some international interest earlier: it was selected to be featured at the Warsaw Film Festival’s Short Film Section.
Gábor Holtai’ crew featured some frequent collaborators, such as producer Péter Fülöp, screenwriter Attila Veres, cinematographer Dániel Szőke and editor Éva Vica Kovács.
“We’re happy to have a chance to show our movie at such a well-known, American film festival. We are especially glad to be included in the Short Film competition list, because when the movie was selected last autumn for the Warsaw Film Festival, we were only able to run in the Special Selection category, since it couldn’t enter the competition there due to its inclusion at the BuSho Festival at the same time.
Thankfully we were able to receive an award at BuSho, therefore we received numerous invitations thanks to that festival’s widespread partnership network, and the hard work of Tamás “Tami” Gábeli, including a chance to participate at Cleveland. The fact that if our performance there deserves an award, we will be eligible for an Oscar, seems too surreal, too unbelievable at the moment. We hope for the best.” – said director Gábor Holtai about the nomination.
The Cleveland International Film Festival will be held between April 7 to 20, and as many others this year will be held online – with the additional benefit of being able to attend the virtual screenings and the announcements from all over the globe. This isn’t the only Hungarian film to root for – the feature film category will include Lili Horváth’s “Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time”, which was Hungary’s entry for this year’s Oscars.
The trailer for the short film is available below:
Further information about the movie on CIFF’s site: clevelandfilm.org