Strudel Sisters a top pick for Film Festival

A still from Strudel Sisters, a documentary from Griffith Film School's Peter Hegedus and Australian filmmaker Jaina Kalifa.

A documentary on two elderly sisters sharing the delicate art of making traditional Hungarian strudel and a deeply personal family story about their mother, has been named as a top pick by the director of the St Kilda Film Festival.

Paul Harris said the short film was one of his two top picks for the festival, describing it as “a colourful and affecting film about a vanishing way of life” with the Australian premiere to take place at the opening night, Thursday 19 May.

The film was directed and written by Griffith Film School’s Dr Peter Hegedus and Masters of Screen Production student Jaina Kalifa.

Lecturer and Griffith alumnus Peter says Ilona and Erzsébet are sisters living in the small Hungarian town of Tura who make “big strudels on small tables” in much the same way their beloved mother did when they were children during the communist era.

Strudel Sisterswas also screened at the prestigious Hot Docs Film Festival in Canada earlier this month and will screen at Sydney Film Festival in June. The idea came about from a research grant Peter received from Griffith Univeristy in 2015 for a project calledBig Stories Small Towns: Eastern Europe.

Peter Hegedus
Peter Hegedus with Jaina Kalifa at the St Kilda Film Festival

Peter is an award winning writer, director and producer of both documentary and drama films who began making films professionally at the age of 21 when his first feature documentary ‘Grandfathers and Revolutions’ was funded by SBS TV.

His film EVA also screened at the St Kilda Film Festival – a documentary about90 year old Éva Fahidi -a dancer, a writer and thinker, but above all a passionate humanitarian who lost her entire family in Auschwitz.

Since 1998, hehas produced, written and directed a number of feature documentaries that have won awards around the world, including ‘Inheritance a Fisherman’s story’ which was short listed for an Academy Award in 2004.

Proudly presented and produced by the City of Port Phillip, the St Kilda Film Festival is one of Australia’s largest and oldest short film festivals. The Festival supports the Australian film industry by turning the spotlight on a wide range of exceptional films by emerging artists and accomplished industry professionals, competing for over $50,000 worth of prizes. The ten day event from 19 — 28 May features a huge range of short films plus a range of special screenings and events.