With cinemas now closed to the public, long-established Hungarian director Szabolcs Hajdu is using the vimeo platform for his latest release. ‘Treasure City’, an interwoven tale of human relationships, will be launched with optional English subtitles on 23 April. This will be the first full-length Hungarian feature to make its debut on the net.

Due for release on 23 April on the vimeo platform, Békeidő (‘Treasure City’) is an interconnected story that takes place over one night, exploring the roles of friendship, dominance and interdependence in society. The full-length feature, directed by Szabolcs Hajdu, has Hungarian dialogue with optional English and Romanian subtitles.

According to co-producer Orsolya Török-Illyés, also one of the lead characters in the film, “Although watching movies is primarily a communal experience, in the current situation we still felt that in our own way we could help people to spend this difficult period meaningfully. This is how the idea came that we would not wait for the revival of cinema distribution and film festivals with Treasure City, but present it online. Watching it is also an excellent opportunity to support independent Hungarian filmmakers”.

Having directed more than a dozen films since the 1990s and acted in over 20, Hajdu is keen on nurturing new talent, as illustrated by this latest release. In 2019, he led a group young filmmakers and actors at an annual camp set up in Transylvania by the Cluj-based Filmtett Association of Kolozsvár, one of two main organisations behind Treasure City.

His film is both an engaging feature as well as a special educational project. “Usually, short films are made during the ten days at the camp, and all roles in filmmaking – from actors to sound engineers to the production manager – are represented,” explains Hajdu.

"Recently, though, we decided to create a full-length feature, to allow those who wanted to learn and move on to try themselves in tricky situations. I originally intended some scenes as rehearsals and wrote them specifically for these actors, but later, I expanded them and linked them together, to go beyond personal events and touch on subjects of greater concern to the general public.”

While the multi-layered storylines of Treasure City involve a priest, a political activist, an actor and a theatre director, the themes cross the grey area between imagination and reality, whether the relationship is husband-wife, friend-friend, parent-child or state-citizen.

The other team involved in Treasure City is Látókép-Production, headed by the trio of Hajdu, Orsolya Török-Illyés and Jim Stark, whose impressive CV includes the acclaimed Down by Law, Night on Earth and Coffee and Cigarettes, all cult hits directed by Jim Jarmusch.

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