László Nemes

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The native form of this personal name is Nemes Jeles László. This article uses the Western name order.
László Nemes
Nemes Jeles László-portré.jpg
Born Nemes Jeles László
(1977-02-18) 18 February 1977 (age 41)
Budapest, Hungary
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 2004-present

László Nemes (Hungarian: [ˈlaːsloː ˈnɛmɛʃ ˈjɛlɛʃ]; born Nemes Jeles László; 18 February 1977) is a Hungarian film director and screenwriter. His 2015 debut feature film, Son of Saul, was screened in the main competition at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival,[1] where it won the Grand Prix.[2] He is the first Hungarian director whose film has won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.[3] His film, Son of Saul, is the second Hungarian film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[4]

Life and career

Nemes was born in Budapest as the son of a jewish mother and the Hungarian film and theatre director András Jeles. He moved to Paris at the age of 12. Nemes became interested in film making at an early age, when he made horror films in the basement of his Paris home.[5] After studying History, International Relations and Screenwriting, he started working as an assistant director in France and Hungary on short and feature films. For two years, he worked as Béla Tarr's assistant during the filming of The Man from London.[6][7]

After directing his first 35-mm short film, With a Little Patience, in September of 2006, he moved to New York to study film directing at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.[8] Beginning in September 2011, he spent five months in Paris as part of a scholarship program arranged by the Cinéfondation, where he and Clara Royer developed the script for Son of Saul. In 2012, they continued intensive work on the screenplay for seven months at the Jerusalem International Film Lab.[9]

His debut feature film, Son of Saul, premiered at the 68th Cannes Film Festival as part of the main competition. It won the Grand Prix, the second-most prestigious prize of the festival. Nemes accepted the 2015 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film for Son of Saul at the telecast on 10 January 2016. It is the third Hungarian film nominated for a Golden Globe and the first Hungarian film to win.[10][11]

In 2016 he was a member of the main competition jury of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.[12]

Nemes has named Michelangelo Antonioni, Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar Bergman, Terrence Malick and Stanley Kubrick as some of his favorite directors.[13]


Feature films

Short films

  • With a Little Patience (2007) (14 minutes, 35mm)
  • The Counterpart (2008) (14 minutes, 35mm)
  • The Gentleman Takes His Leave (2010) (29 minutes, 35mm)


Feature films

Short films

  • 2007 - Hungarian Society of Cinematographers - Best Short Film
  • 2007 - Hungarian Film Week - Best Short Film
  • 2007 - Bilbao International Festival of Documentary and Short Films - Silver Mikeldi
  • 2008 - Angers Premiers Plans - Best European Short Film
  • 2008 - Angers Premiers Plans - ARTE Prize
  • 2008 - Angers Premiers Plans - Best Actress: Virág Marjai
  • 2008 - Athens International Film & Video Festival - Black Bear Award
  • 2008 - Mediawave International Film Festival - Best Cinematography
  • 2008 - Indie Lisboa International Film Festival - Onda Curta Award
  • 2010 - NexT International Film Festival Bucharest - "Cristian Nemescu" Best Directing Award


  1. "2015 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  2. Henry Barnes (24 May 2015). "Cannes 2015: Jacques Audiard's Dheepan wins the Palme d'Or". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  3. Nick Holdsworth (11 January 2016). "Golden Globes: Hungary Celebrates First-Ever Win for 'Son of Saul'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  4. "Son of Saul: Foreign Language Film - Nominees". Oscars. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  5. Origo. "Ott egy magyar a világ legjobbjai között". Origo.hu/. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  6. "'Son of Saul' Director László Nemes on Capturing a Portrait of Hell and the Spiritual Experience of Cannes". The Film Stage. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  7. Origo. "Ott egy magyar a világ legjobbjai között". Origo.hu/. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  8. "Festival de Cannes - From 13th to 24th May 2015". Festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  9. "La Cinéfondation aide les cinéastes de demain". Le Monde à Cannes. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  10. Nancy Tartaglione. "‘Son Of Saul’: From Cannes Grand Jury Prize To Golden Globe". Deadline. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  11. Son of Saul wins Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language film, timesofisrael.com; accessed 22 January 2016.
  12. Rhonda Richford (25 April 2016). "Cannes Film Festival Unveils Full Jury". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  13. Origo. "Ott egy magyar a világ legjobbjai között". Origo.hu. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  14. Nick Newman (24 May 2015). "Jacques Audiard’s ‘Dheepan’ Wins Palme d'Or; Full List of Winners at 2015 Cannes Film Festival Unveiled". The Film Stage. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  15. Rebecca Ford and Rhonda Richards (23 May 2015). "Cannes: 'Son of Saul', 'Masaan', Take Fipresci Prizes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  16. "TOUTES LES RÉCOMPENSES DU FESTIVAL DE CANNES 2015". Festival-de-cannes.parismatch.com. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  17. Meena, Jang (27 February 2016). "Spirit Awards: 'Son of Saul' Wins Best International Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 February 2016. 

External links