International Competition


7/14 (Sun) 11:00 Audio Visual Hall
7/17 (Wed) 13:30 Convention Hall
7.20 (Sat) 10:00 - 7.24 (Wed) 23:00

©Lenke Szilágyi

Director: Barnabás TOTH
Cast: Károly HAJDUK, Pál MÁCSAI, Gergely VÁRADI, Sára Varga-JÁRÓ, Bori PÉTERFY

2023 / Hungary / 91min.


Budapest, during the Hungarian uprising of 1956. Márta and István have fled from the Soviet army sent to suppress the popular revolt, jumping on one of the last trains heading west. Meanwhile, there is also a Catholic priest who had been detained by the authorities and tortured to deliver information about Vatican treasures. Their lives intersect at a chess game that plays out on the refugee train, leading to an unexpected turn of events. Mastergame is a cinematic adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s The Royal Game, set during the Hungarian uprising of 1956. This historical popular resistance to oppression is sublimely transformed into a masterful dramatic film. This is the third feature-length film by Barnabás Tóth, a notable new talent who has received Academy Award nominations for previous short and feature films. It captivates the audience with its bold direction and intricate foreshadowing—sure to leave a lasting impression on both those new to the story and those familiar with the original text.

監督:Barnabás TOTH

Director: Barnabás TOTH

Born in Strasbourg, France in 1977. A writer, director, and producer who graduated from the Budapest Film Academy in 2003. His short film Chuchotage (18) was shortlisted for the 91st Academy Awards in 2019. Those Who Remained (19), his second feature, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and was shortlisted for the 92nd Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film category. Mastergame (23) has received prizes at Miskolc Cinefest and the Hungarian Film Critics Awards, and has been selected for screening at several international film festivals.


“Tis all a Chequer-board of nights and days
Where Destiny with men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the closet lays.”
― Omar Khayyam