Franci Goes To Hollywood


A troubled young Roma model-wannabe at the time, Franci found herself as an extra on the set of Angelina Jolie's Bosnian war drama, In the Land of Blood and Honey, which was shooting in Budapest, Hungary in 2010. She took a chance to take a photo with the dream couple for her portfolio and also to impress her father, who had not spoken to her for years. She even had a few words with Brad Pitt. Answering her question on how she could become a Hollywood actress, Pitt suggested she should make some movies and earn success in Hungary or Europe first and then contact him in Hollywood.
A few years went by and Franci (now turned 33) is still inspired by her dream and even more eager to break out. Meanwhile, and somewhat miraculously, as if she had been destined to this path, she rose into a successful actress in Hungary. She plays in theatre, takes part in a Roma educational program, performs monodramas, appears in the media and gets casted for more and more feature film and series roles. Those who used to ridicule her for her dreams, even from among her friends and family, now look up to her. No matter how hard she works, being a Roma star in Hungary, she also has to face her continuous identity crisis: with all the prejudices against the Roma, could she be a good-enough role model ever at all?
Viktória, a 2013 film featuring her as the main actress has done successful festival rounds and Franci herself won the best actress award at the Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles in 2014. During her visit in LA, she met several Hungarian actresses trying their luck in Hollywood. Franci is fascinated by their courage and ambition and her own curiosity awakes.
On a second visit as a festival guest with a new film (Winter Forever) and on a tour with her solo act (Makar Csudra by Maxim Gorki), she travels around California in a road-movie like fashion and remeets some of the adventurous film crowd also heated by the dream of making it in Hollywood, but mainly just struggle to make a bare living in the capital of stars. She is guided by a childhood friend, Eszter (30), who is stuck in LA for several years after continuously failing to become a film director, as well as Georgiana (64), a retired diva, who chose a spiritual path to balance out her past failures and successes and fancies the idea of taking up Franci as her apprentice.
Through the two, Franci meets the most colorful star-wannabes of a real, less shiny Hollywood. Their sad, funny, moving, and always edifying stories appear through Franci’s eyes and sometimes smartphone camera, their essence is filtered through her unique persona. While meeting these oddballs, Franci looks for a world she dreamed of as a child and sometimes still dreams of and also the opportunity to meet the star whose advice led her here. Her Roma traits come as a strength in this world she finds inspiration in her roots and inner world.
The meeting with Brad Pitt happens by chance just like the first time. After the failure of his marriage with Angelina Jolie, he has become more secluded and is also on an inner journey. There is a new truth and a lot of inspiration in their encounter and now she has to face a difficult choice: Should she pursue a kindling opportunity to become a Hollywood actress or return home to continue her work as a Roma activist, an actress fighting social bias, and ultimately, restore wounded family ties with her father and older brother?


Participant: Lorand Balazs Imre - Hungary