Panorama of International Cinema

Report from the 18th CineFest Miskolc 2022
Return to Dust (Li Ruijun)

Gewinner des Emeric-Pressburger-Preises in Miskolc 2022: "Return to Dust" von Li Ruijun

Miskolc, Hungary's fourth largest city, two hours northeast of the capital: every September, the CineFest Miskolc International Film Festival opens its cinemas to professionals and audiences to show the most significant and critically acclaimed films. It seems like a small, family film festival, but CineFest has become the most important international film festival in Hungary. All the films shown here in the competition and "Open Eye" programmes are premieres in the country.

Also this year - for the 18th time - the festival featured high-quality, international productions. The main focus was on the feature films in the competition, where 16 films were shown, some of which were international co-productions. Among these films were some works that had already attracted a lot of attention in Cannes and Berlin and could now also be shown to the Hungarian audience.

Films in the Feature Film Competition (Selection)

Among the selection of films in the competition were the following films, whose premieres were well attended by the Miskolc audience:

- "Holy Spider" (co-production Denmark/Germany/Sweden/France 2022; directed by Ali Abbasi; nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2022)
- "Boy from Heaven" (co-production Sweden/France/Finland/Denmark 2022; directed by Tarik Saleh; winner for best screenplay at Cannes 2022)
- "Return to Dust" (PR China 2022; directed by Ruijun Li; highly acclaimed world premiere at Berlinale 2022)
- "Close" (co-production Belgium/Netherlands/France 2022; directed by Lukas Dhont; Grand Jury Prize at Cannes 2022)
- "A Love Song" (USA 2022; directed by Max Walker-Silverman)
- "EO" (co-production Poland/Italy 2022; directed by Jerzy Skolimowski; Grand Jury Prize at Cannes 2022)
- "Les Choses Humaines/The Accusation" (France 2021; directed by Yvan Attal).

The Hungarian films in the feature film competition

The premieres of the three Hungarian films in the competition were particularly well received by the local audience. "Heights and Depths" (Magasságok és mélységek, director: Sándor Csoma) tells the fact-based story of the mountain climber Zsolt Erőss, who is very famous in Hungary. He lost his life on the descent from Mount Everest in 2013. Director Sándor Csoma focuses on the perspective of his widow and her personal handling of this tragedy. The director and part of the film crew had travelled especially to the premiere.

"Six Weeks" by Hungarian director Noémi Veronika Szakonyi tells of the crucial period of time teenage mother Zsófi spends deciding whether her daughter should be adopted. This feature film was highly acclaimed by the critics and eventually won the Adolph Zukor Award (Grand Prize of the Festival), chosen by the international jury.

The Hungarian comedy "Riviera East" by director Balázs Lévai stood out a little in the competition alongside all the dramas, but was very well received by the audience and received the coveted audience award. The audience could vote online for the films. The plot takes place in the mid-1980s. Disguised as West German holidaymakers, a family goes on holiday to Lake Balaton and suddenly finds itself in the middle of a spy mess.

The Awards

The most important prize, the Emeric Pressburger Award (Festival Grand Prize for Best Film) was awarded by the international jury to the Chinese film "Return to Dust". The FIPRESCI jury (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) also chose "Return to Dust" as best international film. Director Li Ruijun uses poetic images to tell the story of two people on the fringes of society who find each other through an arranged marriage and master their hard life in the country together. The CICAE jury (Confédération Internationale des Cinémas d'Art et d'Essai) chose the film "Close" (Belgium/Netherlands/France 2022) as their winning film.

The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (nominated by SIGNIS and INTERFILM) went to the film "Il Buco – The Hole" (Italy/France/Germany 2021) by Italian director Michelangelo Frammartino which premiered in Venice 2021 and won the International Newcomer Award for Best Direction at the International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg in the same year.