What is the best thing that I love about my work?
I love a good rehearsal process and the actual production phase. I am an experimental type and being in a highly creative environment I always like challenging my team and myself. I especially enjoy when unexpected hardships arise and we have to stick together, raise our creative stakes and figure a completely new way out. Normally these bits in a movie or a play become the ones that bear with the most artistic value.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
Moments. Moments when you feel that you are at the right place, at the right time with the right people. I think every momentary state like this fades away very quickly so we must learn how to enjoy them. I have an eight-year-old nephew. He jumps up to catch the ball I thrown to him, he laughs, we are in the garden, there is a nice summer breeze, now that is perfect happiness. Also, sunrises and sunsets spent with the people I love. Just watching nature performing its miracles and feeling that it is all going to be alright.
What is my greatest fear?
Losing people that I care about, or being unable to do anything against their unhappiness or pain.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
It is difficult for me to let go off things and projects. Sometimes I keep fighting for things that are not worth the fight or that just simply cannot work out under the given circumstances.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
Talented, self-made men and women such as Lucrecia Martel, Lone Scherfig and Pawel Pawlikowski.
What is my greatest extravagance?
Many times I act like a kid and I am actually trying to hold onto that. It anchors me and reminds me that life should not be taken overly seriously. Also who does not like to randomly break into songs from Winnie-the-Pooh?
On what occasion would I lie?
I am a bad liar but I think one must learn to make white lies. Especially if others’ well-being depends on them.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
The business side of it and artists who would rather talk instead of doing the actual work.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
Whenever I see my work effecting others, or the actual working process inspiring people around me. Giving something meaningful to people is the primary reason why I am in this business.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
I am trying to practice more patience. I tend to have zero tolerance when it comes to work, for example.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
Directing “My Name is Rachel Corrie” (based on the writings of Rachel Corrie, created by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner). Making people aware of her highly inspiring life and getting to know members of The Rachel Corrie Foundation while being encouraged by Rachel’s mother was an unbelievable experience… I still have serious plans with the play, I think it is incredibly relevant today. So I am planning to tour it at schools both in Central Europe and New York. Peace and tolerance on all sides should be top priority. Also, just seeing the audience taking away something from the work you do. That matters to me a lot.
Where would I most like to live?
For me it depends more on the people than on the place. I love New Yorkers because they are greatly inspiring, full of life and artistry. Also, early this year I started working together with a group of incredible female filmmakers/photographers and wherever we are on a project I feel motivated and can easily imagine moving there for a while. Magic happens if you feel inspired.
What is my most treasured possession?
It is a tiny notebook filled with poems that my late grandmother wrote for me. It always gives me shelter and guidance.
What is my most marked characteristic?
People say that even my eyes can smile. So it must be my eyes then.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
In New York it is the Lincoln Center, no doubt about it. In Budapest it is the park and building of the National Theatre, that spot showed me the power of art for the very first time.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
In New York it is the Maison Kayser on Broadway and 59th St. There is nothing better than sipping a cup of tea while listening to Chet Baker. In Budapest, it is the Bestia close to the Basilica. I go mad for their goose liver paté!
What books influenced my life and how?
The Tragedy of Man by Imre Madach taught me how not to give up even when life gets tough. And On the Road by Jack Kerouac made me even more adventurous than I had always been.
Who are my favorite writers?
All members of the Beat Generation.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
Puttin’ on the Ritz by Fred Astaire. I would want to have an old school party on my very last day.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
People who are courageous enough to face their fears and push themselves to overcome them.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
The hardest question of them all, especially for a movie buff. There are so many movies that everyone should see.
For example, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul by Fassbinder will teach you tolerance, Mirror by Tarkovsky will make you feel all the feels and Wings of Desire by Wenders will make you fall in love with your life again.
What role plays art in my life and work?
It gives me a sense of freedom and helps me “travel” through time and space.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
My parents are my greatest allies and fans with eternal faith in me.
Whom would I like to work with in 2019?
I would love to be a fly on the wall on a Godard or a Jean-Marc Vallée set. Just to observe what they do.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019?
With professionals whose talent and level of experience scares me. I love to learn from people.
What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?
I am currently working on a short film about autism. It is still a rather uncharted territory, we know way too little about ASD. I believe there is a need for a better understanding of the disorder and work on real social integration for the people who live with it. Through this project it is very important for me to show that the core of one human being does not differ from the core of another.
Where can you see me or my work in 2019?
Two short movies of mine from last year, “Nyctalopia” and “Sweet and Sour”, are still being shown at festivals (most recently “Sweet and Sour” was competing in Houston). And “Haze” will has its first projection in the fall.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
For me it means that if you truly are passionate about something then you cannot not pursue it no matter what.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
How can you contact me?