Private Project

Portraits of Living

Based on the short stories of Hungarian writer, István Örkény, Portraits of Living is a grotesque look at 4 different moments of life. It is a period piece that aims to show situations where humanity is found in grotesque situations as well as to show the absurd in reality.

  • Marcell Benjamin Csillag
  • Marcell Benjamin Csillag
  • Marcell Benjamin Csillag
  • Marcell Benjamin Csillag
  • Alexander Scrivens
    Key Cast
    "George, Mr. Lipschitz, Prof. KHG"
  • Emma Zadow
    Key Cast
    "Kate, Mother"
  • Eva Townsend
    Key Cast
  • Sam Terry
    Key Cast
    "Dr Kester, Intruder"
  • Tom Alban
    Key Cast
    "SS guard"
  • William Fergusson
  • János Breckl
    Kontroll, Aranyélet
  • Ágnes Pleskonics
  • Hannah Lees
    Assistant director
  • Conor Ramskill
    Assistant director
  • Dávid Bodrogi
    Assistant Camera
  • Jonathan Foulston
    Sound recordist
  • Harriet Crisfield-Magill
    Sound recordist
  • James Sarson
    VFX supervisor and compositor
  • Eliz Cruz
    3 Modelling
  • Liam Gough
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Dark Comedy, Grotesque, student
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 7, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    600 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Marcell Benjamin Csillag

Marcell was born in Budapest in 1996. He got in touch with filmmaking fairly soon through his father, who is a documentary filmmaker. Marcell was 12 when he made an edit of his own of his father's feature lenght documentary. At this point, he fell in love with storytelling and went on to study Film Production at Norwich University of the Arts. He discovered his passion for photography and cinematography during his time at the university. After finishing his graduation film, Portraits of Living, he moved back to Budapest to start climbing the ladder of the camera department as well as working on short form narrative and documentary projects as cinematographer.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Portraits of Living is an adaptation of István Örkény's one-minute stories (well, 4 and a half of them). I've been wanting to adapt his work ever since I layed my eyes on filmmaking. The main reason for that is the author’s extraordinary talent to touch on the emotion of humanity in his stories from a grotesque point of view. When picking the stories to tell in 8 minutes, I aimed to select them so that I can show the reality in grotesque situations as well as the grotesque in reality. Most importantly, whether I had to write a completely new dialogue or just visualise something that had already been written, I wanted to stay true to the writer's vision and make the audience feel what I felt after reading these stories. I never aimed for more than putting these moments of life on screen with nothing more than observing them with my camera and let the audience draw their conclusions.