The Hungarian film ‘The Citizen’ (Az állampolgár, 2017) by director Roland Vranik had its Dutch premiere at the Movies that Matter Film Festival in The Hague last week. The film was screened a total of three times and on Wednesday evening 29 March, it received the Student’s Choice Award.

Students have their own competition program at the Movies that Matter Festival, in collaboration with the The Hague University. During the festival, a jury consisting of fifteen students may make a selection of their best four human rights films and hand out the Students’ Choice Award.

As ‘The Citizen’ was part of the Students’ Choice selection, it could be watched for free by students during the film festival. On Wednesday evening 29 March, ‘The Citizen’ was announced as the winner of the Students’ Choice Award. Director Roland Vranik was present to receive his prize, the Golden Butterfly and €2.500 euros.

‘The Citizen’ is the third feature film by the award-winning Hungarian director Roland Vranik. In ‘The Citizen’, Vranik considers the many nuances of integration through the means of an unorthodox love story. The film follows Wilson, who, after losing his entire family to the horrors of war and making the perilous journey to Europe as a political refugee, settles for a sedate life as a security guard in a Budapest shopping center. However, Wilson is driven by a quest: to become a model Hungarian citizen and to do so at any cost.

The Citizen trailer from Hungarian National Film Fund on Vimeo.

On Friday evening 31 March, Vranik also attended the third screening of his film and participated in a Q&A, which was moderated by Willemijn Lamp, founder of the ‘Read My World International Literature Festival Amsterdam’. Vranik highlighted that cinemas in Hungary were full for his third feature film and that his film also successfully travels to festival all over Europe. “Foreign audiences are touched by the ‘idea of help’, which is very much present in the film”, Vranik said. 

More information on ‘The Citizen’ may be found on the website of the Hungarian National Film Fund