Hungarian-made Holocaust drama “Son of Saul” earned the 2016 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, making it the second Magyar movie ever to win an Oscar. The prestigious golden statuette was presented to the movie’s director László Nemes during the 88th Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. We congratulate Nemes and his cast and crew for this brilliant achievement, and we look forward to learning more about the Magyar director’s upcoming film, another drama set in Budapest during the era just before World War I.
Featured among five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film (along with the Colombian Embrace of the Serpent, the French Mustang, the Jordanian Theeb, and A War from Denmark), Nemes’s riveting Holocaust drama – an unflinching story about an Auschwitz prisoner’s desperate quest to arrange a proper burial for his son – won the esteemed honor at last night’s Oscar Gala, earning the second-ever Academy Award for Hungarian-made motion picture, after Mephisto by István Szabó was the first to achieve this in the same category in 1982; in 1989, another Hungarian film was nominated for an Academy Award, titled Hanussen.
Earlier this year, Son of Saul received a Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language Film in January, after winning the Grand Prix at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. On Saturday, the movie added to its global esteem by winning Best International Film at the 2016 Independent Spirit Awards, making a clean sweep of the world’s most prestigious cinematic prizes – which makes Son of Saul the most critically acclaimed Hungarian film of all time.
Looking ahead, Nemes has already started working on his next movie along with the Son of Saul team of filmmakers. Called Sunset, the pre-World War I “dark fairy tale” will be set in Budapest, with many scenes of Hungary’s capital to be shot on location in varied districts; casting is currently underway, including for the female lead character named Éva. Meanwhile, with the momentum of this Oscar win, Son of Saul will continue to be screened in numerous cinemas across Budapest and around the world.