To pay tribute to his memory, we introduce the career of Béla Lugosi. The intertwining of the person and "the big" role is mystified by many even today; we also toy with this idea in certain scenes in the film in an ironic way, applying the scenery and music typical of the era - from silent film to sound film.

Hungary, Transylvania, the end of the XIX. century. In a small town the bell of the church is calling to Mass, while a mother is searching for her son in the street... We are in Budapest, the boy became a fine man, a well-respected actor of the National Theater, continuously the hero in love on stage, also a well-known character of national silent film industry. The First World War. Our protagonist faces the horrors while serving on the Italian front-line. After the war he stands in front of the cameras again, but this time in Berlin... On the stormy Atlantic Ocean a cargo ship is fighting the elements, our hero is nervously trying to rest in the cabin, but instead he heads to the engine room. The ship docks in America, the land of opportunities. In California, he is drinking coffee with his company in an elegant club, when he receives a telegraph. In a vast studio, the staff is ready, the spotlights are turned on, the camera is rolling. Everyone is watching in awe as the charismatic figure appears on the top of the stairs, who then starts walking down the stairs...

This film is the story of a boy from Transylvania, who was a well-known person in the life of theater in Budapest in the past century, who then became a silent film star... And a legend in Hollywood.


14th Kecskemét Animation Film Festival - Kecskemét (HU)


Bujtor István Film Festival 2019 - Balatonszemes (HU)


Hét Domb Film Festival 2019 - Komló ( HU)

Best Short Animation
3. Prize Winner

16th International Animation Film Festival "Tindirindis" in Vilnius (LT)


TAF - Thessaloniki Animation Festival 2019 (GR)

Official Competition

Dracula Film Festival 2019 - Brasov (RO)

Official Competition

WAF - Warsaw Animation Festival 2020 (PL)

Nominated for Platige Image Award

WFAF - World Festival of Animated Film 2020 - Varna (BG)

Official Competition

ATAFF - Alexandre Trauner ART/Film Festival 2020 - Szolnok (HU)

Official Competition

Arany Blende - The Hungarian Trailer Festival 2020 - Budapest (HU)

Official Competition

Hungarian Film Award 2020 - Budapest (H)

Nominated for the Best Animation Film Award

Bucharest Film Award - Official Selection (RO)

Official Selection - Best Short Film 2021


Written and Directed by
Roland Tóth

Producer/Production Manager
Krisztián Konecsni

Production Designer
István Rittgasser

Edited by
Balázs Sarkadi Nagy

Sound Designer
Péter Benjámin Lukács

Music Composed by
János Nagy

Our story takes place in the age of the Enlightenment in Hungary. It tells the legend of Istók Hany by balancing between reality and fiction.
In the swamps of Hanság lived a little boy, Istók, aged 8-10, happily fishing and hunting in harmony with the animals around. One day fishermen cauhgt him and brought the boy to the nearby castle in Kapuvár where he was kept in prison like he was an animal. Only the capitan’s daughter showed sympathy towards him and tried to be nice to him in order to tame him down. As time went by the boy was allowed to leave his cell and got a place to live and he got used to the every day life in the castle. On the wedding day of the captian’s daughter, Istók had a special present for the couple...
The story is based on events that took place in the 18th century and became a legend in the area.


13th Kecskemét Animation Film Festival (HU)

Hungarian Competition

BALKANIMA 2017, 14th edition of European Animated Film Festival (Belgrade SRB)

Panorama of European Film program

15th International Animation Film Festival "Tindirindis" in Vilnius (LT)

Short Animated Films Competition

14th Animateka, International Animated Film Festival (Ljubljana SLO)

Eastern and Central European Panorama

25th Internationales Trickfilm Festival Stuttgart'18 (DE)

"Tricks for Kids Shorts" Competition

IV.International Nature Film Festival Gödöllő (HU)

International Film Review / Animations

Anima Mundi 2018, 26th International Animation Festival of Brazil (BR)

"Short for Children" Competition
07.24.- 08.05.2018

Hétdomb Film Festival 2018 Komló (HU)

Short Animated Competition

Taichung International Animation Festival 2018 (TW)

Programme Panorama

Alexandre Trauner ART/Film Festival 2018 Szolnok (HU)


Blue Danube Film Festival 2018 Wien/Budapest (AT/HU)

Official Selection

11th International Animation Festival Tehran (IR)

Children & Young Adults International Official Selection


"Silence can be very communicative"

Interview with Michaël Dudok de Wit, director of The Red Turtle

"After the arrival you are participated in the screening of the second block of KAFF Hungarian Short Film Program. What do you think of this sorting, did you have a favorite movie?

The last film of the block, the Istok. I was very impressed by this film. I really believed the character: a boy who is growing up in fresh water like a frog. Werner Herzog made a film called Kaspar Hauser on the same subject, and Truffaut also made a film on the same subject called Wild Child. It’s a very archetypical subject, it’s very deep in our consciousness, that a human being can grow up in nature without other human beings and be the part of the animal nature. So I really liked that film, also it was beautifully made, I saw a lot of originality in it.”


Written and Directed by
Roland Tóth

Producer/Production Manager
Krisztián Konecsni

Production Designer
István Rittgasser

Edited by
Balázs Sarkadi Nagy

Sound Designer
Péter Benjámin Lukács

Music Composed by
János Nagy

About us

Production Designer

Roland Tóth

Born in 1972. He graduated from the Faculty of Painting at the Secondary School of Visual Arts, Budapest in 1991. He has been a staff at Kecskemetfilm Ltd. since 1992.
He has been a director of Picture Start Ltd. since 2014.

Director filmography:

  • AXN Crime Nights (2006)
  • Children's Festival in Győr (2008-2010)
  • Thoughts from the Cellar (2009)
  • A-HA (2011)
  • Istók (2017)
  • Bela (2019)
  • Krisztián Konecsni

    Born in 1974. He was formerly as production manager, actor and other collaborator in amateur films. He has been executive producer of Picture Start Ltd. from 2014.


  • Traveller’s Tale (actor, dir.: István Rittgasser) (2000)
  • Thoughts from the Cellar (project coordinator, dir.: Roland Tóth) (2009)
  • Istók (dir.: Roland Tóth) (producer, 2017)
  • Bela (dir.: Roland Tóth) (producer, 2019)
  • István Rittgasser

    Born in 1973. He graduated from the Faculty of Photography at the Secondary School of Visual Arts, Budapest in 1991 and from Eszterházy Károly College - Department of Art and Visual Communication in 2001. He worked as cartoon animator, journalist, graphic designer, radio presenter and filmmaker.
    Currently he is a memeber of the Glowing Bulbs visual group, and teacher of the Faculty of Motion Picture at the Secondary School of Visual Arts, Budapest.


  • Traveller’s Tale (director) (2000)
  • On Gentle Threads (director, director of photography, editor) (2007)
  • Head Dwellers 2. (director of photography, dir: Eszter Szoboszlay) (2008)
  • Head Dwellers 4. (director of photography, dir: Eszter Szoboszlay) (2009)
  • Thoughts from the Cellar (visual designer, dir: Roland Tóth) (2009)
  • Shop Tales (director of photography, compositing, dir: Eszter Szoboszlay) (2010)
  • Livin' & Lovin' - Sena and The Forward Ever Band music video (visual effects supervisor, dir: Balázs Sarkadi Nagy) (2010)
  • A-HA (production manager, compositing, dir: Roland Tóth) (2011)
  • Passzról passzra - Bankos music video (visual effects supervisor, dir: Balázs Sarkadi Nagy) (2011)
  • Stories from Budapest: The Danube and the Boat (director of photography, compositing, dir: Eszter Szoboszlay) (2012)
  • Children in a Red Landscape (director of photography, dir: Péter Szoboszlay) (2013)
  • Unknown Peoples of the Earth: A Mythology (director of photography, compositing, dir: Eszter Szoboszlay) (2013)
  • The Looking Planet (collaborator, dir: Eric Law Anderson) (2014)
  • Stories from Budapest: The Giants of Gellért Hill (director of photography, compositing, dir: Eszter Szoboszlay) (2014)
  • Es Gisher - Deti Picasso music video (post production, dir: Balázs Sarkadi Nagy) (2015)
  • Istók (production designer, compositing, dir: Roland Tóth) (2017)
  • Bela (production designer, background painter, compositing, dir: Roland Tóth) (2019)