M-Appeal Picks Up ‘Wild Roots’ Ahead of Cannes Market

Berlin-based sales agency M-Appeal has picked up Hungarian drama “Wild Roots,” which will world premiere at an A-grade film festival later this year, and will have a market screening at the Pre-Cannes Screenings next week.

“Wild Roots,” a drama about a lonely, ex-con bouncer who is reunited with his wild child daughter, won the Works-in-Progress Award at Eastern Promises, Karlovy Vary Film Festival’s industry section. The film is the feature debut of director-writer Hajni Kis, whose “Beautiful Figure” was nominated for the Student Academy Awards in 2016.

The film, written by Fanni Szántó and Kis, centers on 12-year-old Niki, who finds out that her father, Tibor, is in town after being released from prison. She disobeys her grandmother’s fierce objections and meets him in secret. Tibor is forced to confront his role as a father and finally take responsibility. After seven years without contact, the father and daughter get to know each other, whilst realizing their strong connection and how powerful forgiveness can be.

In a statement, Kis said that what drives Niki is “the basic human need to learn about her life, her past that actively affects her present.”

Kis added her desire to make a film about a “complicated father-daughter relationship” was inspired by her own relationship with her father who “disappeared from our lives for a long while, which was a difficult period, but much of this I couldn’t process at such a young age.”

In making the film, she tried to understand how “parent and child reach the moment of facing the past and take responsibilities for their actions,” she said.

The cast includes Gusztáv Dietz, Zorka Horváth, Éva Füsti Molnár and Viktor Kassai.

It is produced by Júlia Berkes and Balázs Zachar at Proton Cinema, and coproduced by Mátyás Prikler and Zora Jaurová.

It is supported by the Hungarian National Film Institute Incubator Program, Slovak Audiovisual Fund and Minority Culture Fund Slovakia.

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