Review Fix Exclusive: Inside ‘Chuchotage’

Review Fix chats with Chuchotage director Barnabás Tóth, who lets us know why the recent Oscar Shortlisted film is a special one.

Review Fix: How does it feel to be Oscar-shortlisted

Barnabás Tóth: Very strange. First euphoria, then panic, then soft happiness with pride, now panic again. It changes from day to day.

Review Fix: How did you get involved with this project?

Tóth: This was my original idea, my script. I entered a script contest with it, and the amount of money I won was enough to start building a budget.

Review Fix: What attracted you to it the most?

Tóth: The romantic comedy side of it, I love to entertain people. Also it was high time someone make a movie about conference interpreters. Have you ever seen one?

Review Fix: What have you learned from it?

Tóth: That you always have to keep things simple. Don’t put too much content and message in a short film. But that simplicity has to be executed with the utmost attention and exigence from cast to editing.

Review Fix: What was the feeling like on set?

Tóth: Rather good. It was intense: only 2 days! The DOP and I were very focused since we had a story-board and talked over everything for long and exhausting discussions. I don’t say we didn’t face problems but we were able to fix them. At the end of the 2nd day, already in bed at night, I remember I was laughing with my wife who is always in the set with me. We had this feeling the movie would work well.

Review Fix: How did this film affect you?

Tóth: After two films which didn’t work as well as I hoped, it gave my self-confidence back. And I always learn a lot with every movie. There is so much hype around it in Hungaria media due to the Oscar shortlist that it can confirm me as a “trustworthy” filmmaker.

Review Fix: How do you want people to be affected by this film?

Tóth: I hope they don’t think about their problems for 16 minutes. That the next day(s) they will re-think of the film with a smile. That it brings nice memories and they can make instant connection to their own life.

Review Fix: Who will appreciate this film the most?

Tóth: Probably the conference interpreters. They already do. It can be their “cult” movie.

Review Fix: Why should people see this film?

Tóth: Because its heart-warming, funny, thought-provoking and easy to love. 

Review Fix: How would you like it to be remembered?

Tóth: As my last short movie before making a dozen features.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Tóth: I just finished post-production on Someone to live for, my second feature, it’s a wonderful human story, set in 1949 Budapest, the complicated relationship between a 442-year-old doctor and a 16 year old girl, who both lost everyone in the war.