The seventh edition of the Cinema City IFF, which will take place from June 21-28 in Novi Sad, will present 120 films within ten selections, including premiere screenings of domestic films and one exclusive world premiere.
One of the premieres is the screening of Strange Forest, the fourth feature film by Szabolcs Tolnai, author of Hourglass, shot as Serbian-Hungarian co-production. Strange Forest will have its world premiere on Wednesday, June 25, at 20h in the main hall of Arena Cineplex.
Strange Forest is a drama that draws us into the world of a Hungarian family from Novi Sad, whose son escapes from a drug rehab centre. In their attempts at finding him, his parents go through their own personal family drama, while at the same time facing the harsh realities of living in Serbia. They will find that their son is in debt with the local mafia boss, which is the reason for his hiding. In the days that follow they will do everything in their power to find him.
According to his own words, after Hourglass Szabolcs Tolnai felt “the need for a simpler way of storytelling and a simpler form that will, nevertheless, remain distinct and recognizable at first sight”. He explains that Strange Forest deals with characters from a multicultural environment, once oriented towards world trends, in which he grew up, and in which he witnessed the degradation of the middle class into people of no consequence and no influence on the environment they live in.
The screenplay uses the motives from Minotaur, a story written by Novi Sad writer Judita Šalgo, and is signed by Szabolcs Tolnai and Dragan Stanković. As such, this screenplay won the award for best screenplay at Sarajevo Film Festival, and award from Austrian production company Synchrofilm Film, Video & Audio. Cinematography is signed by Gergely Poharnok, and editing by Branislav Klašnja and Vuk Vukmirović. Executive producers are Miroslav Mogorović and Diana Radosavljević. The compelling cast of the film includes Hermina G. Erdelyi, Robert Tilly, Nenad Jezdić, Siniša Tucić and Jovan Belobrković.
Strange Forest is Szabolcs Tolnai’s fourth feature film, and incidentally the fourth co-production between Hungary and Serbia. The audience best remembers his film Hourglass. Based on Danilo Kiš’s family trilogy, this film draws a parallel with the culture of hate and fear, which was predominant throughout the 1990s. Hourglass reaped numerous awards at domestic and international festivals, including the prestigious Golden Alexander for Special Artistic Achievement at the 49th Thessaloniki IFF. Hourglass was preceded by Summer Film and Face Down, which were also awarded at various international festivals.
In recent years Szabolcs Tolnai has been producing films signed by the artists from younger generations. He is a co-producer of the award-winning film Ordinary People, directed by Vladimir Perišić, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. He is also a documentary filmmaker who signed documentaries for such television productions as RTV B92, and Hungarian RTL Club, and Dunav television. His artistic versatility can also be observed in his theatrical engagement and in documentary An Unknown’s Diary, about famous choreographer Jozef Nađ, which was screened at the biggest theatre festival in Avignon.
Don’t miss the world premiere of Szabolcs Tolnai’s world premiere of Strange Forest on Saturday, June 25, in Arena Cineplex.