Ara-para | The Bride

A gratified 30-year-old psychologist suffers a panic attack at her marriage proposal. She decides to re-meet her exes to be able to get rid of the recurring condition, but this self- therapy leads her to deeper and darker places, where she has to face the underlying secret of her suppressed unhappiness.

On the lookout for partners

This project is a miniseries in development, supported in 2020 by the National Film Institute of Hungary, and now being further developed in the Catalyst Storieroad International programme.

We are on the lookout for coproduction partners.

The pitch document is available here: Pitch document

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Project overview

Annette Sugar MSc (Sugar to her friends) has her life in perfect order. Being an accomplished psychologist with her own clientele by the age of 30 shows how devoted and smart, even prodigious she is, and she also has an amazing partner, the web developer Dini with whom they plan their future together. On her 30th birthday, however, the well-expected proposal brings something unexpected and unwanted: Sugar suffers a severe panic attack. She manages to hide it from Dini and only tells about this to her best friend Milan. Her first reaction to all this is to get drunk and wake up the next day at the airport of Helsinki, to secretly meet her most important ex, Ricardo.

Her ride from here gets more and more confusing and scary. Not only she starts to face conflicts of growing importance (such as doubting her self- worth as a woman, or her and Dini’s sexual orientation, or realising that she’s been raped before), but she also starts to destroy her present relationship by hiding her self-therapy from Dini and leaving him alone with his self-doubt caused by Sugar not answering his proposal. In her professional life, she also faces conflict. Her patient Clementine secretly believes that everyone is a ghost, and suffers from insomnia due to the visits of ghosts nightly. None of the traditional methods helps her with this condition but at one point she raises the ghost of Sugar’s ex Miki who died young. Sugar starts to doubt her own skills as a psychologist and also her own sanity.

While meeting the exes brings Sugar closer to herself than ever before, she accelerates towards a darker truth. Although she doesn’t want to, encouraged by her mother’s ghost she visits her hometown, and not only she resolves an old conflict with her highschool sweetheart, but she intuitively breaks into the flat she grew up in. She relives the awful memories of her adolescence when her mother got sick and her well-known and respected, yet alcoholic and abusive father kept her scared for years. She manages to escape before she gets caught, but she can’t escape from Dini and his ultimatum to say yes or no to the proposal. She manages to escape once again, to meet her last ex, Boti, who gives her the engagement ring he bought for her back then, right before Sugar left him. Dini witnesses this, and breaks up with her.

While her friend Milan seems to have finally found a partner, Sugar realises her losses: Dini, her dignity and her professional credibility. She confesses first to Milan, then to Dini and Clementine that she’s a fraud on all levels. She accidentally uncovers Clementine’s trauma, and at the same time, she faces her own, darkest secret which she’s buried in her mind. She is granted forgiveness. She decides to leave for a while.

Dini runs after her and also forgives her, proposing once again. Her answer is obvious. Or is it?