Narrow Path To Happiness

The Film

The Story


A young gay Romani couple from a remote village in Hungary has a dream so absurd that it seems impossible: making a musical film based on their lives. Against all odds, they move to Budapest just as the Hungarian government is becoming increasingly authoritarian and hostile towards LGBTQ+ people.

Short Synopsis

Gergo and Lenard are a young gay male couple living in a remote Roma community in the poorest part of Hungary. They live in a community where being gay is considered an unforgivable sin, yet they dream of making a musical film about their lives and becoming famous. They could continue to live out their lives within this hostile environment, but to make their dream come true they have to move to Budapest, where LGBTQ+ life is more open and available, and collaborations with musicians and artists are abundant. When the sudden death of Gergo’s mother brings a tragic wrinkle to their story, they return to the family who disowned them for one final reckoning, helping them to accept their gay identities, the key to their own acceptance and their own chance at happiness.

The Background

“Narrow Path to Happiness” is a feature-length documentary that charts the lives of two young gay Romani men in a positive loving relationship over three years. It is a first-of-its-kind gay-themed intersectional documentary out of Hungary that bridges two worlds and focuses a lens on the Roma (gypsy) aspect of the LGBTQ+ experience. Our main characters represent populations in Hungary who are actively persecuted because of their race, ethnicity, and sexuality, so there is a built-in urgency to these stories. The film has also been made against the backdrop of rising authoritarianism and anti-LGBTQ+ hatred and misinformation in Hungary, and as such, this has impacted the lives of our characters and the direction of the story.

As same-sex marriage is constitutionally forbidden in Hungary, this effectively bars same-sex couples from adoption. In June 2021, a bill was submitted to Parliament to ban all products, advertising, and media featuring gay or transgender people from those under the age of 18, removing the appearance of LGBTQ+ people in public service advertisements or any school program.

As for Romani people, the largest ethnic minority in Europe, the situation is also very difficult, and anti-Roma attitudes and discrimination are commonplace in Hungary. The areas where Hungarian Roma live are mainly disadvantaged areas and small villages where there are no job opportunities.

Perhaps most importantly for this film, it cannot be overstated that the existence of a Roma LGBTQ+ community is still considered taboo in Hungary, especially within the Roma community itself, where religion dominates all aspects of life. Unfortunately, racism and xenophobia are also present within the LGBTQ+ communities, as are homophobia and transphobia in Roma communities.

Most people can’t even imagine that Roma LGBTQ+ people even exist. This often has serious consequences including a life full of lies, forced marriages, and masking one's sexual or gender identity inside unhappy and unfulfilled relationships. With “Narrow Path to Happiness," we’re proud to be making a film that counters all of the stereotypes and negative messaging faced by Roma LGBTQ+ people.

The Team

Katalin Oláh


is a Hungarian filmmaker based in Budapest. After many years working as a producer, she switched focus entirely to directing and established Makabor Studio, an award-winning production company with her cinematographer husband. All of their films have been broadcast by different Hungarian TV channels and received numerous awards. Kata has been nominated several times by The Hungarian Film Academy as best director, and she was awarded the best editor prize in the documentary film category in 2019. Her feature documentary, The Bar Mitzvah boys was nominated for Prix Europa 2018, and she received the prestigious international critic’s Fipresci Prize at Cinefest 2022 for her feature documentary Conquering time - Ágnes Keleti.

Sándor Csukás


graduated from the Hungarian Film Academy in 1993. He is a well-recognized cinematographer in Hungary, awarded by the prestigious György Illés, The cinematographer of the year award, and Béla Balázs, the highest state film professional award. He participated as a cinematographer in more than 60 documentaries and short films, several TV dramas, such as the first Hungarian HBO Europe series, and 14 fiction films, wining several national and international awards with his work.

Borbála Csukás


has been working in different roles in film production from an early age. Notably, she is the Producer of a feature-length documentary, “Divas," co-produced with HBO Europe, which she pitched at several CoPro forums and participated in the Sarajevo Rough Cut Boutique workshop. She also participated in Sarajevo Talents 2020 and was the Hungarian representative of Emerging Producers 2022.

Marc Smolowitz


is a multi-award-winning director, producer, and executive producer who has been significantly involved in 50+ successful independent films. The combined footprint of his works has touched 250+ film festivals & markets on 5 continents, yielding substantial worldwide sales to theatrical, television, and VOD outlets, notable box office receipts, and numerous awards and nominations. His credits include films that have screened at top-tier festivals. In 2016, he received one of the prestigious Gotham Fellowships to attend the Cannes Film Festival’s Producers Network marking him as one of the USA’s most influential independent film producers.

Crew / Partners


Director/Editor: Kata Oláh
Cinematographer: Sándor Csukás
Producer: Kata Oláh, Borbála Csukás
Co-Producer: Marc Smolowitz
Written by: Kata Oláh, Borbála Csukás,
Marc Smolowitz, Sándor Csukás
Music: Gergely Barcza
Colorist: Robert Libel
Sound design: Tamás Lőrincz
World sales : First Hand Films

Developed at

Verzio DocLab
When East Meets West Co-Production Forum
Hot Docs Deal Maker
Thessaloniki IDF Agora Docs in Progress
EWA Network 2020 Mentoring
DocCelerator Ove Jensen, Geoffrey Smith
Rough-Cut Service Erez Laufer, Jordana Berg

Made with generous support from the following

Robert Holgate Philanthropic Fund
Center for Independent Documentary
13th Gen
Metropolitan University
Summa Artium Foundation
Polgar foundation for equal rights
Hungarian Film Incentive

Festival / Press


Marc Smolowitz
(13th Gen)


Borbála Csukás
(Makabor Studio)


World Sales:
First Hand Films