Attila Szász’s new film Eternal Winter, based on Norbert Köbli’s script, bagged another prestigious honor last week when it took home the award for Best Drama at the 33rd Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF). The film previously won the award for Best European Movie of the Year in Berlin and Szász was chosen to receive the award for Best Director at the 42nd Montreal World Film Festival.
Following the Soviet occupation of Hungary in 1944, local, Ethnic German women are taken from their small village, loaded into cattle wagons and forced to work in coal mines under inhuman conditions at a Ukrainian labor camp. Here, Irén meets fellow prisoner Rajmund who decides to teach her how to survive. While she is determined to return home to her daughter and family, history and fate have a different plan: Irén and Rajmund fall in love. Eternal Winter is based on true events and is the first Hungarian feature film about the 700,000 Hungarian victims of the Soviet labor camps whose stories have remained untold for over 70 years.
This is Attila Szász’s first feature film for cinematic release, but he previously directed two TV movies (Félvilág/Demimonde and A Berni Követ/The Ambassador to Bern) with Köbli, as well as TV commercials and a short film. Eternal Winter was released in Hungary on 25 February 2018.
Celebrating its 33rd annual festival in 2018, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival presents American indies and studio films, international films, student films, special tributes, seminars and introduces filmmakers to audiences in Southern Florida. The festival—considered one of the most important regional film festivals in the U.S.—was held between 2 and 18 November and screened 200 films.