Hungarian filmmaker aims to call attention to the horrors of animal abuse with his new short horror film Vulpes, now crowdfunding on Indiegogo
I was recently contacted by a passionate, young filmmaker from Hungary about a very interesting short film project that immediately sparked my interest. The filmmaker was a man named Benjamin Helmeczi, and he’s currently raising funds on Indiegogo for his short horror film called VULPES. The concept is what so greatly intrigued me.
The film is about a man who named VULPES who becomes a vigilante for animal rights, using live stream to punish and kill people who torture animals. It’s his way of correcting perceived wrongs and fighting back against a legal system that refuses to properly punish those who cause harm to innocent animals.
I had to know more, so I asked him some questions about the project and why it might be of interest to others like me who value and support unique, thought provoking, independent filmmaking.
INTERVIEW WITH FILMMAKER BENJAMIN HELMECZI
Hello, Benjamin. Could you start by telling us a little something about your filmmaking background? Is this your debut film?
I have loved movies my entire life. This will be my second short film. The first one was completed as part of a school project and was an adaptation of O.Henry’s novel “The Last Leaf”, which won “Best Short Film” at festival in Hungary.
I love the concept of this short. What inspired you to make this type of movie?
This story is about a man who uses live stream to punish and kill the people who tortures animals. Animal abuse has always been and continues to be a very real problem in our world. Sadly, there is no explicit legal punishment to fight people who commit these horrible acts.
Many people like myself think someone who tortures animals deserves similar treatment. So I started thinking, “What if somebody came along and took the law into their own hands in order to give these people what they deserve?”
That’s how VULPES was born. I want the character to be a symbol — a symbol of the fight against animal abuse. That’s my dream. I don’t need any prizes or awards. I just want to make a great film that gives the people something new and different. I want to do something for the animal lovers, as well as the film fans.
Why did you decide to launch the film on Indiegogo?
In the beginning, we shot a teaser for the short to give people an idea of what they could expect. I knew it would be easier to get people on board if I could give them something visual. When we finished the teaser, I tried to negotiate with animal protection companies, Hungarian trade companies, and Hungarian competitions. However, I was repeatedly rejected. In Hungary, this kind of film is against the law and considered propaganda.
Additionally, the sad reality is that horror films have no past, present or future in Hungary. The genre is not respected or appreciated in any way. There’s a perception that horror films are not credible enough to receive Hollywood accolades; horror films don’t win Oscars. So that’s probably the real reason nobody supports the genre in my country.
As a result, I decided to make this film in English for audiences who, like me, love and appreciate horror. To do so, I need help from the horror and film loving community. I hope people will be inspired to contribute even a small amount to helping me bring this dream to life and giving a voice to the innocent animals who can’t speak for themselves.
What are your plans for distribution after the film is complete?
With my small indie crew, we always make an effort to create Hollywood quality products while working with very small budgets. My goal is to submit the film to festivals around the world. My hope is that the film is very well received, which will enable me to expand my vision for VULPES and create a feature length film.
But my first goal is to win the trust of those who are taking a chance on this film and supporting me. I want to make a film everyone can be proud of and feel good having been a part of.
Is there anyone else working on the film who you’d like to talk about or recognize?
I would like to introduce my first assistant director Sándor Gál, who filmed his third film this year. His dramatic short Move On, which he made two years ago, won numerous awards both in Hungary as well as abroad at International festivals. His latest short film, a war drama called The Long Way Home, is in post-production.
Finally, what kind of movie can people expect? You mentioned it would be a bit brutal.
This movie’s story has a very serious message, and it’s no coincidence that I chose this genre. I wanted the film to make a real impact, and the best way to do that is to not shy away from showing the brutality.
In the film, offenders are punished and killed in public. While it could be described in a subtle manner, it would lose its mood, its message, and the seriousness of the story. This film will be brutal in the sense that I will show all tortures and murders in a very realistic way, so that the audience will really believe what is happening. They will feel the pain, but they will not mourn the victim. In the first few minutes, the audience will hate the victim, they will accept VULPES’s motivation and accept the destiny of the victim — because they will feel it is justified.
In short, this movie will be a brutal psychological horror film with a serious message. As I mentioned before, I want VULPES to become a symbol. I believe this will be a very innovative film within the genre, and I hope more people can join us and help support our vision.
If you’d like to join us in supporting this innovative and important short horror film project, head over to the film’s Indiegogo page to make your contribution. Remember, every little bit helps. Contribution amounts start as low as $1.