Oscar Winner Kristóf Deák Makes Debut Feature, Communist-Era ‘Captives’

Hungarian helmer Kristóf Deák, who won an Oscar for best live-action short film for “Sing,” has made his first feature-length movie, the Communist-era drama “Captives.”

Based on real events, the picture is set in Budapest, Hungary, during the Communist era, in 1951. It turns on the story of a family and the secret police who show up at their door, move in, and lock the family members up in their own home, along with anyone else who comes knocking. Days go by without any explanation and the situation grows more and more absurd as secrets, lies and paranoia begin to unravel the growing number of captives in the apartment.

The movie was predominantly shot in a single location in Budapest. It premiered in competition at the International Film Festival of India, which was held last month in Goa.

Deák has worked in short films and TV, directing episodes of popular Hungarian series “Hacktion.” “Captives” features an ensemble cast of leading Hungarian actors, including Eliza Sodró (“The Crown”), Ernő Fekete (“Aurora Borealis”), Ferenc Lengyel (“Fateless”) and Levente Molnár (“Son of Saul”). Zsófia Szamosi, who was a lead in “Sing,” also stars.

Laszlo Dreissiger produced “Captives.” His credits include an earlier short from Deák and Zoltán Nagy’s “On the Quiet.”

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Deák’s “Sing” won the Oscar in 2017, and “captures the moment when a young person’s faith in the inherent fairness of authority ruptures,” Variety said in its review at the time, also noting that it was an “ambitious idea elegantly compressed into a tight dramatic package.”

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