István Balogh, a not very affluent Hungarian farmer, lords over his wife, children and his “hired” slave. Cut off from the rest of the world on a distant farm in the Great Plains, he tries to uphold a family ideal he formulated from rigid traditions.

Director's Statement

Attila Till graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in the intermedia department. His first feature film PÁNIK (Panic) premiered in 2008 at the Hungarian Film Week where it won the Best Actress Award and screened at various international festivals. His first short film, CSICSKA (Beast), is based on extended research and inspired by newspaper articles, and television news on the theme of modern-day slavery. Aside from his film work, he is one of the most recognized TV personalities in Hungary. In recent years, he has helped create numerous innovative cultural programmes as well as hosting high-profile TV shows. How long did it take to make your short? Was it difficult to get financing? After several months of preparations, location and motive research, we shot the BEAST in 5 days. What I found especially challenging was to integrate the professional and non-professional cast into a solid world, and to convey the atmosphere of the story in a genuine way. We have not received any state subsidies and paid the small professional crew from our own pocket. Both for shooting and post-production we were supported by film production companies, without them we couldn’t have done it. Which thoughts come to mind concerning a “European cinema community”? To be a European filmmaker means that you belong to a society which inherited an extremely rich past and has always appreciated formal innovations. This has encouraged the making of about the human existence and psyche from a very personal point of view. If you owned a theatre for one night, which films would you screen? I would organise a Hungarian evening. I think it‘s important to get the young generation, my generation, excited about our films, maybe even more so in Hungary. I would screen films such as Szabolcs Hajdu‘s WHITE PALMS, Kornél Mundruczó‘s AFTA and PLEASANT DAYS, Györyg Pálfi’s TAXIDERMIA, and Bence Fliegauf‘s DEALER. What is your next project? It‘s the story of a wheelchair-bound assassin gang. Driven by despair and fear of becoming useless, a 20-year-old man, his friend, and an ex-fireman offer their services to the underworld. But things are not what they seem. The boundaries between reality and fiction blur and the story becomes a whirling kaleidoscope showing us gangsters and gunfights, but also the challenge of life in a wheelchair and the pain caused by a father’s rejection.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Attila Till

Written by: Attila Till

Cinematography: Imre Juhász

Editing: Béla Barsi

Original Score: Iván Lantos

Sound: Csaba Major

Cast: Szabolcs Thuróczy, Monika Balsai, Balázs Szitás

Nominations and Awards

  • European Short Film 2012