In 2021, Palace of Arts Budapest’s short film The Gift drew attention to the community-building power of culture and to the fact that nothing is more precious than the moments we spend together. Starring Mari Nagy and cellist István Várdai, the four-and-a-half-minute short film, directed by Péter Bergendy and using feature-film equipment, has now been shortlisted out of 564 entries in the top 15 of the Tokyo Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2022 competition. In addition to Palace of Arts (Müpa) Budapest, brands such as Apple, Heineken, Burberry, Axa and P&G will also be present in the shortlist.
In recent years, Müpa Budapest has taken its audience behind the scenes with a moving story as the holidays approached, but in 2021 the focus was on the institution’s exceptional audience and community, not just figuratively, but literally. In addition to its unusual idea, touching story and message, the speciality of the short film The Gift is the personalities of its creators and characters.
The lead role will be played by Mari Nagy, the Jászai Mari Award-winning artist of the National Theatre, known for her many memorable stage and film roles, while in the other important role, for the first time in the history of Müpa’s Christmas short films, the audience welcomed a true classical music world star, cellist István Várdai, who was the featured artist of the institution’s 2020/21 season.
In the fictional short film, which tells the story of a close-knit community, a music-loving woman, a mysterious neighbour and a warm-hearted little girl, the real audience of Müpa Budapest was given a unique role, as the audience is made up of members of the institution’s loyalty programme that has been operating with great success for many years hundreds of whom took part in the filming, demonstrating the true community-building power of culture.
The short film—with which Müpa Budapest has thanked its audience, which has grown into a close-knit community over the past decade and a half, for its uninterrupted attention and love throughout the year—has now been shortlisted among the top 15 films in the prestigious Tokyo Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2022, which awards the best short films for commercials as well. So the short film is competing for the top prize with the likes of Apple’s Christmas, Heineken’s Lockdown Love Story and Burberry’s A New Awakening.
For more information and a list of candidates, click here.