UPDATED with video: Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time, Hungary’s contender this year for the International Feature Film Oscar, hinges on a moment around seven minutes into the movie.
Brain surgeon Márta Visy, played beguilingly by Natasa Stork, travels home to Budapest from New York for a romantic liaison with a fellow neurologist she met at a New Jersey medical conference. But when the two encounter each other for a second time, the neurologist, János Drexler (Viktor Bodó), claims not to recognize Visy. She then collapses in the street.
The scene was the “sprout” from which the whole film grew, says writer-director Lili Horvát during her appearance at Deadline’s Contenders International awards season-event. The result is a noirish romantic story, told from the perspective a woman who is late to love, which examines the enormous role our imaginations play when we fall for someone.
Did Visy imagine her first encounter with Drexler in New York? Is Drexler real at all? These are questions that hang in the air throughout Preparations To Be Together, as the highly qualified Visy takes up a post at a Hungarian hospital, bringing her into Drexler’s orbit.
“I wanted this story to play in the brain, but also in the heart,” Horvát says. “The main terrain of this story is mystery — this place in the unsettling murky no man’s land that separates love from madness.”
Greenwich Entertainment is lining up the U.S. release for the film January 22. It premiered in Venice Days and was also selected for Toronto.
Check out the panel video above.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.