The Story of Helka
The Story of Helka
Helka is an animated film about a princess who, at barely 13 years old, must take on her greatest enemy in order to bring freedom and happiness back to her homeland.
The Balaton Empire was once a land of prosperity and abundance, with KING KELÉN and QUEEN HELÉN ruling peacefully and justly. But then one day everything changed, when HELKA’s mother, the queen, drowned in a freak accident.
The King blamed himself for what had happened. Like a ghost, he wandered aimlessly through the castle halls, and the kingdom became a dark and desolate place. From that day forth, Helka was protected from even the smallest danger and sheltered from the outside world, which became her enemy.
Now, instead of the king, the empire is ruled by HORKA, the sister of the late queen, whose only goal is to have absolute power over the kingdom. And it seems that her evil plan is succeeding. As the widowed king prepares to remarry and take Horka as his wife, the crown is finally within her grasp.
The people of the castle are worried about the wedding, as they all loathe Horka. It is only the king who is unaware of her cruel nature.
All kinds of people arrive to the court for the royal wedding. Among the guests is a famous fortune-teller, who reveals the future to Horka: Helka will remove Horka from the throne, if she doesn’t die first… Horka orders the young girl to be killed, but Helka survives the attempt and flees into the forest in search of ECHO, her mother’s former helper.
At first, Echo’s forest shelter appears to be abandoned. However, an elf named TRAMINI turns out to be hiding there. Helka and Tramini argue over the ownership of the cottage, but they stop when the eels arrive. Tramini runs away, but the girl finds helpers in Echo’s enchanted herd: the Goatfeet. Together they set out to find Echo, but while they are in the forest, she runs into Tramini again, whose life she saves. Tramini has no choice but to join Helka as her travel companion, and in return for her help he grants her a magical power. Now Helka can understand the language of animals. This is how she discovers that the Balaton Empire is in grave danger – the waters have become infested with slimy eels, and the animals of the lake have been forced to flee into the forest. And it was none other than Horka who let the eels into the lake, with the goal of causing as much chaos as possible.
The overcrowded forest is lacking in space, food, and water, and Helka’s arrival only intensifies the discontent. As far as the animals are concerned, she is simply the niece of Horka, who is the one responsible for all of their problems.
The inhabitants of the forest must get water – without it, they are condemned to death. The only solution is to fetch water from the Kékkút spring, but the road to the spring is frought with peril, and none who has dared to go has ever returned.
Will Helka and Tramini be able to get there? Will they be able to save the Balaton Empire, when Horka’s only goal is to destroy all that stands in her way? The final battle ends with Horka’s defeat, but in the meantime our heroes have countless adventures.
It’s quite rare in the Hungarian film industry, that a movie explores the country’s cultural treasures and unique nature.
In our film, existing locations around the Balaton become a part of the magic, and the main characters explore Tihany, Hegyestű, the Szentbékkálla Stone Field, Kékkút, and the Bakony region.
In our tale we can meet the legends of the lake Balaton, for example the so called „goatnails” of Balaton, the Echo of Tihany, and the beautiful love story of Helka and Kelén. Our adventurous fairy tale gives the opportunity to get to know them and may inspire the audience to discover the real locations of the story.
Our explicit goal is to recreate the folklore of the Balaton, and boost interest in the real-life locations where these legends take place.
Screenwriters: Anett Kormos, Éva Zabezsinszkij
(Based on the novel Helka – Burok-völgy árnyai from Péter Nyulász)