“I was really, really surprised,” reveals Kristof Deak as we chat via webcam (watch above) about his recent Oscar nomination for the live action short film “Mindenki” (“Sing”). “Myself and a few people from the crew gathered to watch the announcement together,” he adds. “We were kind of getting ready to insult each other in case we didn’t get through, and then instead, we were jumping in joy.” Set in Budapest in the 1990s, the film centers on a young girl (Dorka Gasparfalvi) who excitedly joins the award winning choir at her new school, only to uncover a troubling secret about the instructor (Zsofia Szamosi).
Deak, a native of Hungary who got his start as an editorial assistant on such films as “Munich” (2005), first got the idea in 2012 from a roommate who had undergone a similar experience. “The cruelty, the injustice of this, really captured my imagination,” he divulges. He worked on the script with co-writers Bex Harvey and Christian Azzola, setting the story in England, where he was living at the time. “It didn’t quite work as well,” he admits, and the idea went nowhere until 2014, when he decided to place the events in his homeland. “My own experiences growing up in Hungary really helped bring this whole story world alive.”
“Mindenki” (“Sing”) competes at the Oscars against “Ennemis interieurs,” “La femme et le TGV,” “Timecode” and “Silent Nights.” Deak shares this nomination with producer Anna Udvardy.
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