Feature documentary “Golden Legends,” which focuses on the Hungarian men’s water polo team who were crowned Olympic champions three times running between 2000-2008, has broken the record for a theatrical release in Hungary of a local documentary.
Tamas S. Zákonyi’s film was released nationwide in Hungarian cinemas by Fórum Hungary at the end of April, and was in the Top 10 for six weeks. It has drawn more than 87,000 admissions, and grossed $470,782.
The film has overtaken 2016 Hungarian documentary “The Horsearcher,” which portrays archer and equestrian Lajos Kassai. That film scored 82,000 admissions.
“Golden Legends” is the most successful Hungarian film of any genre in local cinemas since romantic comedy “Christmas Flame” in 2021.
“We wanted to make a film with a feel-good tone, fast-paced, witty, but at the same time dramatic and emotional,” Zákonyi said. “[I wanted to create] a cinema experience which has a swimming pool atmosphere, where viewers can relive, among other things, the Olympic final in Athens in 2004.”
The objective was to allow the audience to “experience the successes of the past.”
Zákonyi added: “Our goal is to see events through the eyes of the players,” as well as observe “the many personal struggles and behind-the-scenes secrets, in addition to the historical sporting moments. We wanted to bring smiles and tears.”
In 23 world tournaments, the Hungarian water polo team have been on the podium 22 times, and have won 18 finals, including 10 gold and eight silver medals.
The screenplay was by Gergely Csurka and Ottó Elek. Zákonyi was the producer via Flashback Filmproductions. NFI World Sales are selling the film globally.