25 September 2019

Warsaw fest premieres psycho-thriller VALAN

Béla Bagota’s Transylvania set debut feature, Valan – Valley of Angels, a suspenseful and heart-wrenching psychological thriller, will be premiered at Warsaw Film Festival’s 1-2 Competition.

“Valan is a thrilling and heart breaking story of missing children. Peter tries to save them as a policeman from the big city criminal groups and give them back to their families. But through the investigation about his sister he has to face more complicated answers and solutions about this problem. Children could be kidnapped with violence, they can escape by their own choices, they can be abused or exploited by their own families just because of money... or children could be saved in other ways. I hope that our film can give more than an exciting thriller to the audience and finally it can leak deep under their skin.” – noted screenwriter-director Béla Bagota.

SYNOPSIS - Péter investigates a sex-trafficking ring as a big city cop in Brasov. He has dedicated his life to finding women who have disappeared, and he sees his sister Juli in every girl he saves. Juli disappeared twenty-two years ago in their hometown, Valan, in the ensuing chaos of the Romanian Revolution of 1989.
Péter has to return to the Transylvanian mining town after receiving a phone call that the body of his sister might have been found among the pines on a snow-capped mountain. His personal investigation in Valan not only forces him to confront a crime rate that is stifling the town, but it also takes him back to the labyrinth of the past where he must face his own demons.

Valan (Photo: László Kántor)

Béla Bagota’s first feature film is a suspenseful and heart wrenching psychological thriller, a completely new voice in Hungarian filmmaking.
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Béla Bagota made several shorts during the university: Side by Side (17'), Mea Culpa (27'), Frustration (25'). His short film, With Clean Hands won the prize of the Best Graduation film of the University of Theatre & Film, Budapest in 2010. After the film school he worked with Kornél Mundruczó as an assistant director on Tender Son – The Frankenstein Project.
In the last years, he worked as a 1st AD on Hungarian films and co-productions (Heavenly Shift, Galloping Mind, Well, Lajkó – Gypsy in Space, Bad Poems) and as 2nd AD on US productions filmed in Hungary (The Martian - dir. Ridley Scott).

Warsaw Film Festival - Established in 1985, the Warsaw Film Festival joined in 2009 the elite group of events recognized by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations ( as “A-category” international film festivals - next to Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Locarno, San Sebastian, Karlovy Vary, Tokyo, Moscow, Mar del Plata, Montreal, Shanghai, Cairo, Goa, and Tallinn.

Some of the most amazing directors, like Michael Haneke, Cristian Mungiu, Paweł Pawlikowski, Ari Folman, Ashgar Farhadi, Lenny Abrahamson and hundreds of others, had usually been guests of the WFF before they reached the top.