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CHAMELEON

Film
Film
Original Title (If different): 
KAMELEON
Language: 
Hungarian
Other languages or subtitles: 
English
Production country: 
Hungary
Running time (In minutes): 
104
Theme: 
Thriller
Category/Format: 
Fiction Features
Student film: 
No
Poster: 
Production year: 
December, 2008
Film Credits
About the Director: 

 

Following on from JUST SEX AND NOTHING ELSE (2005) and CHILDREN OF GLORY (2006), Goda once again joined forces with Réka Divinyi to work together on CAMELEON. JUST SEX AND NOTHING ELSE was Goda's first full-length feature film and drew the largest box office in Hungary in 2006. It went on to win Best Screenplay at the 37th Hungarian Film Week, which she jointly accepted with Réka Divinyi and Gábor Heller. Sándor Csányi won Best Actor for his role in this film at the same festival. The film collected a clutch of international awards including Best Actress for Judit Schell at the Monte Carlo Film Festival and a Gold Remi at the Worldfest Film Festival in Houston.

It was largely as a result of this successful debut that Goda received a call from the producer Andrew G. Vajna to direct the big-budget feature to commemorate the 1956 Revolution. CHILDREN OF GLORY won the ORTT Award at the 39th Hungarian Film Week and the audience prize at the Stony Brook Film Festival in New York (as the most talked-about and moving film), the first prize at the Nagoya International Film Festival in Japan in 2007, and the audience prize at the St. Louis International Film Festival. The filmed was screened at the White House to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution where it was watched by George W. Bush who spoke very highly of the film. Krisztina Goda's first two films attracted a combined audience of 1.3 million viewers in Hungary.

Krisztina Goda gained her degree in Film Direction from the National Film and Television School before continuing her studies in Screenwriting on an HBO scholarship at UCLA. She has directed a number of award-winning short films and commmercialss in England, America and Hungary and worked on TV series and sitcoms. This young director is one of the few in her professional able to combine her unique view of the world with humour to create a work to last. Before becoming a fulltime film director, Goda directed David Auburn's Broadway hit "Proof" at the Merlin Theatre.

Film director: 
Krisztina GODA
Producer: 
Gabor KALOMISTA
About the Producer: 
<p> &nbsp; </p> <p> <i>Variety</i> described Gábor Kálomista as &quot;Hungary's success wizard&quot;. He is currently president of the Hungarian Producers' Association. He began his career as a film producer with ZIMMER FERI (1997) and he has worked on a succession of successful films including THE BLOOD OF THE ROSE (1997), PROFESSOR ALBEIT (1998), 6:3 - PLAY IT AGAIN TUTTI! (1999), SOME KIND OF AMERICA (2001), BLIND GUYS (2001), SMOULDERING CIGAERETTE (2001), SUMMER'S HERE AT LAST! (2002), SOBRI (2003), DAD GOES NUTS (2003), WONDERFILM (2005) - starring András Kern and directed by Elemér Ragályi, the box-office smash JUST SEX AND NOTHING ELSE (2005), PRINCELY REPRIEVE (2006), YOUNG, DUMB AND FULL OF LOVE (2006), LAST MINUTE (2006), NOSEDIVE (2007), BUHERA MATRIX (2007), VIRTUALLY A VIRGIN (2008), OVER 18 (2008). BLIND GUYS won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival (2001). SMOULDERING CIGARETTE (d.: Péter Bacsó) won Best Actress for Eszter Nagy-Kálózy's performance at the Sochi International Film Festival. Also by the same director, VIRTUALLY A VIRGIN was invited to compete in the 30th Moscow Film Festival. Erik Novák won Best Director at the Caserta Drake International Film Festival in Italy for NOSEDIVE starring Zsolt Nagy (Shooting Star Berlin 2008). Kálomista has always offered an open door to new directors including Krisztina Goda and Erik Novak. Kálomista premiered IMMIGRANTS - L.A. DOLCE VITA directed by the renowned animator Gábor Csupó, in October 2008. </p> <p> Kálomista is undoubtedly the most productive producer in Hungary. </p>
Screenplay: 
Krisztina GODA, Réka DIVINYI
Editing: 
Zoltan KOVACS
Film photographer: 
Buda GULYAS, Tamas BABOS
Sound: 
Attila TÖZSÉR
Music: 
Gabor MADARASZ
Cast 1: 
Ervin NAGY
Cast 2: 
Gabriella HAMORI
Cast 3: 
Zsolt TRILL
Cast 4: 
Janos KULKA
Cast 5: 
Sandor CSANYI
Film synopsis: 
<p> &nbsp; </p> <p> Gábor is an office cleaner. Wearing overalls and a baseball hat, he seems insignificant. Working on the night shift, Gábor rarely has any contact with his employers, yet he learns everything about them by thoroughly analyzing their garbage. Since he is almost invisible, nobody suspects that Gábor is, in fact, a con man who carefully chooses his victims by the trash they leave behind. His targets are mostly disillusioned, lonely women. In a few months he destroys all their romantic illusions by taking all their savings. Having an unusually high IQ and an ability to assume various personalities, Gábor is an expert in manipulation. When he gets a job at a psychologist's office, Gábor meets Hanna, an injured dancer who happens to be the daughter of a millionaire. Insecure and vulnerable, Hanna seems to be the perfect victim. Gábor pretends to be a doctor who can cure her body and her soul, an irresistible offer for a desperate woman. Everything goes according to plan until Gábor falls in love with Hanna and has to make a hard decision between her and the money. </p>
Technical infos
Technical infos
Original Film Format: 
35 mm
Film Sound: 
Dolby SR
Video master available ?: 
Yes
Video Type: 
HDCAM
Number of reels: 
6
Festival Selection, Awards...
Festival selection, awards or citation already received and other comments... :
Already selected in a Festival?: 
Yes
Festival selections: 

Shanghai IFF, 2009 - official competition

Moscow IFF, 2009 - Panorama

Romanian IFF, 2009 - official competition

Raindance IFF, 2009

Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival, China, 2009 - official competition

International Tamil Film Academy - SPECIAL JURY AWARD

Cairo IFF, 2009 - out of competition

European Film Festival Segovia, MUCES, 2009 - official competition

Osaka European Film Festival, 2009

Chennai IFF, 2009 - world cinema

PALM SPRINGS IFF, 2009 - AWARDS BUZZ

 

 

Awards received: 
<p> Audience Award - 40th Hungarian Film Week </p> <p> Special Jury Award - International Tamil Film Academy - India </p>
Film reviews: 
<p> <a href="http://www.screendaily.com/chameleon/5003442.article">http://www.screendaily.com/chameleon/5003442.article</a> </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> <b>SCREEN</b> </p> <p> By Mike Goodridge </p> <p> <strong></strong> </p> <p> <strong>Already selected as Hungary's submission for the foreign language Oscar this year, </strong><em><b>CHAMELEON</b></em><strong><i> </i></strong><strong>is an entertaining thriller with western-style production polish, a plot which offers its fair share of surprises, and an impressive lead performance from Ervin Nagy.</strong> </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> Directed with confidence by Krisztina Goda, who is fast becoming her country's most consistent commercial director (<i>Just</i> <em>Sex And Nothing Else, Children Of Glory</em>), the film was a hit when it opened in Hungary in December last year. </p> <p> <em><b>CHAMELEON</b></em> should have some international sales value, especially with the Oscar bid in place, although arthouse distributors are often slow to embrace mainstream local films like this without the guaranteed backing of highbrow critics. <em><b>CHAMELEON</b></em> - unlike recent Hungarian exports <em>Kontroll</em> or <em>Taxidermia</em> - is almost too slick a product, yet bigger independents may also balk at its subtitles. A sale for remake rights seems a natural. </p> <p> Nagy plays a tall, handsome twentysomething called Gabor who runs a cruel scam with his old orphanage buddy Tibi (Trill). The two work as office cleaners and identify single women from their rubbish; Gabor then seduces them and swindles them out of their savings. The friends are trying to save up to buy a house which, as orphans, they believe is the key to security. </p> <p> Anxious to make a big money score, the two take on cleaning jobs at the offices of a celebrity analyst. There they target a ballerina called Hanna (Hamori), daughter of a millionaire tycoon, who is trying to overcome a knee injury. Gabor pretends to be a wealthy paediatrician, inveigles his way into her life and spots an opportunity when she says she wants to have expensive knee surgery with a pioneering doctor (Kulka). He thinks that he can walk away with the $100,000 fee, but the con is more complicated than he imagined. Goda hits the right tone in the film, neither too playful nor too dark. She makes clear that Gabor is an unsavoury character, yet he is never entirely repellent to the audience, and the director leads us to believe that he is on some kind of redemptive journey before hitting us with a final twist which puts him firmly in his place. There are a few clumsy plot points, but Nagy's striking central performance just about carries the drama through its rocky patches. A successful TV and theatre actor, he has enough brooding charm to convince us that women would fall for his act and hints at a turbulent inner life of insecurity, aspiration and desperation for love. </p> <p> <em><b>CHAMELEON</b></em> is set in a glossy 2008 Budapest of lavish parties, ballet openings, swanky apartments and fast cars, far from the poverty central to recent Hungarian festival favourites such as <em>Iska's Journey</em> or <em>Fresh Air</em>. </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> <b>HUNGARIAN PRESS REACTIONS</b> </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> &quot;Amazing, astounding, absolutely amusing!&quot; - premierfilm.hu </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> &quot;<b>CHAMELEON</b> is an outstanding movie. If we would replace the streets of Budapest with the ones in Paris or New York, the film would still work. An excellent, high-level work of art.&quot; - <b>ÉS</b> (weekly critical literary journal) </p> <p> &quot;Goda and co-writer Réka Divinyi created a plot in an enviably self-confident way. They shaped the colorful and tinted world of the swindler and of the country where he lives (Hungary) in which the winner is always one step ahead of his persecutors and/or loved ones.&quot; - <b>PestiEst</b> (a.k.a Hungarian Time Out) </p> <p> &quot;In this part of the world, where comedies usually resemble werewolf movies, and gloomy, socially sensitive films look like vivid operettas, the straight film language which is used in <b>CHAMELEON</b> is a real rarity.&quot; - <b>Magyar Narancs</b> (weekly political journal) </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> &quot;The film is perfect! Regarding the critical aspects, the film is flawless. The actors' guidance is just right.&quot; - <b>VOX mozimagazin</b> (monthly movie magazine, like Empire) </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> &quot;Trill is simply perfect. He entirely found the balance between the jokes, the funny side of the story and the pain of an orphan who lost his dear friend.&quot; - <b>www.origo.hu</b> </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> <b>FESTIVAL REACTIONS</b> </p> <p> <b></b> </p> <p> <b>Raindance London, UK</b> </p> <p> Con-men Gabor and Tibi (played by Ervin Nagy and Zsolt Trill) at night pose as janitors in offices, digging through bins to find marks to help them pin down lonely victims. Gabor plays the slick gentleman, backed by Tibi, marrying women for access to their bank accounts. This brings them easy but not exorbitant amounts of money, but when Gabor starts to fall for a high-risk mark however, things begin to spiral out of control. Uncertain whether he is playing the beautiful dancer Hanna, or falling in love with her, he gets drawn into an increasing number of complex cons to keep their relationship up. </p> <p> <b>CHAMELEON</b>, unlike many of its con-film American equivalents has a certain depth, capturing the pathos of the victims, who also build an anger and ability to push back at their manipulator. Developing characters with meticulous detail, the protagonists question their tendency towards deception, disguises and sense of achievements whilst it is also uncertain who is betraying whom. </p> <p> The third feature from Krisztina Goda, after Just Sex And Nothing Else and Children of Glory, <b>CHAMELEON</b> is this year's official Hungarian entry for the Best Foreign Language film category of the Academy Awards. </p>
Film distribution
Sales/distribution name: 
HungariCom Ltd.
Address: 
1116 Budapest Mesterhazi str. 10.
Publicity Infos
Publicity contact: 
Kean & Kolar
Trailer availble: 
yes
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Your rating: None

Film Information

gersbach.net