Daazo.com is a community website for filmmakers but also a starting point for short film lovers. Besides the thousands of contemporary pieces we want to showcase some great works of the past, too. These Hungarian films were all chosen for the prestigious Short Film Competition of the Berlin International Film Festival, two of them were good enough to win the jury’s second prize and another one was awarded the Golden Bear. This special edition was created with the aim of preserving and putting a spotlight on these so far hidden treasures, which are definitely well worth of seeing. Let’s take a closer look!
In the history of Hungarian short films Csaba Varga was the first one to be chosen for the Berlinale competition in 1986. His animation called Augusta Feeds Her Child won the Silver Bear as well. The 4-minute-long story is about a mother, Augusta who tries to pacify her crying baby by feeding him a nutritious meal. The animation combines clay characters and real food in a gloriously stomach churning mess. Augusta was so popular that later the director dedicated two more short films for her character.The film also won the main award of the short film competition of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
László Sántha’s film Tattooed Walls was in the Short Competition in 1988. It is an experimental documentary that aims to map all the different versions how walls can be manipulated. It shows graffiti, stickers, wallpapers, scratches, posters, hand-made placards and signs on different spots of the city. Budapest is covered with messages let it be political, sexual, ethnic or ideological. These scratched and covered walls tell a lot about our history, society, general mood and above all the people who inhabit these urban spaces.
Here it comes the absolute winner. Ferenc Cakó entered the competition in 1994 with Ashes which was created with his groundbreaking sand animation technique. This great novelty in form spellbound the jury and the audience as well and Cakó won the Golden Bear. Ashes were created in the memory of her mother and talks about death and passing in a very touching way.
Only a year later Milorad Krstic got into the short film competition as well. His My Baby Left Me caught the jury’s attention and he won the Silver Bear. The animation film talks about sexuality and human relationships in a funny yet disturbing way. The main character in a feverish condition projects a nightmare where everybody and everything around him is moving as it would take part in a sexual intercourse. Sighs and screams in a never-stopping-sex-odyssey.
There is no question about that Géza M. Tóth is one of the leading animators in these days. He is mainly known for his Academy Award nominated short film Maestro. Lesser known that he had an animation called Icarus in the Berlinale Short Competition in 1997. Icarus is a sand animation retelling the mythical tale. It’s set on a beach where the main figure attempts to fly with the help of a mosaic-like construction of cones, spirals and flotsam from the ocean. Though his attempts are not crowned with success he tries it again and again. The movement of the waves, footprints in the sand and bleached driftwood are evocative. The director tries to catch eternal beauty, and immortalises man’s struggle.
Márton Nyitrai was also nominated in the Short Competition in 1998. The black-and-white Tram is a story about a tram driver who just wants to finish his night shift and a young man who wants to commit a suicide on that exact tramway. Life or death? What’s going to happen? This absurd, provocative yet witty piece has all the answers. It’s worth checking it out.
The earlier mentioned Ferenc Cakó made it to the Short Competition again in 2000 with his puppet animation called Vision. This time the world famous animation film director explores the boundaries of humanity and depicts a disturbing world where people want to get to the sky at all costs. Paraphrasing the Biblical tale of the tower of Babel Cakó leaves God out of the game and blames only humanity for its downfall.
2001 was also Ferenc Cakó’s year having his work, Stones nominated for the best short film award of the Berlinale. Cakó returned to his special sand animation technique that made him world famous and combines it with object animation. In Stones the director talks about such basic notions like life and death, art and creation, anger and forgiveness. Stones is a personal ars poetica about the difficulties of creation and how the material finally overcomes the artist.