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Past, Present, Future The Witness in Cannes Classics and As Up to Now in Cinéfondation

Moving Forward Documentaries Julianna Ugrin in Producers on the Move

From Desert Island to Video Games The Rise of Service Productions in Hungary Published by






CONTINUITY AND MOVING FORWARD Andy Vajna and I set up the film-funding framework that defines the current situation and image of Hungarian cinema. Hungarian films had never seen that kind of money before, but we have finally delivered on the promise of making HUF 10 billion (approx. EUR 31 million) available for the direct funding of theatrical feature films. We will continue to carry out Andy Vajna’s work even now that he is no longer with us. We will do everything in our power to make sure that varied, interesting and unique films are created, ones whose original stories have for decades defined the cinematic style and characteristic vision of Hungarian cinema. Our national film industry is doing exceptionally well. In 2018 the total amount spent on films reached HUF 110 billion (approx. EUR 340 million), 84% of which arrived into the country through international productions. These films create a constant flow of job opportunities for the industry here in Hungary. Everyone at the Film Fund is dedicated to working towards smoothing the way for this wonderful industry: producers, directors and distributors alike. At the Film Fund’s initiative, the European Commission has agreed to extend the Hungarian film-funding framework to 31 December 2024 as well as to increase the tax rebate from 25% to 30%. The aim of our training programmes is for there to be a continuous supply of experts in the field of Hungarian cinema, without whom the production of even just one film would be impossible. Thanks to the work carried out by the Film Fund’s department of film sales, last year’s proceeds from the overseas distribution of Hungarian films amounted to around HUF 300 million (approx. EUR 925 000). The Film Fund’s share of the sum increases the total that is allocated to film support. Not one week goes by without a Hungarian film winning a prestigious award at a reputable international film festival. For the past two years now we have been tending to the legacy of Hungarian cinema and to the Film Archive’s magnificent collection. This year’s Cannes Film Festival has invited Péter Bacsó’s masterpiece The Witness to its Cannes Classics section. During the restoration of the film, which is back in Cannes after 50 years, never-before-seen censured footage was returned to its original location. Thanks to the negligence of the comrades at the time, these scenes were practically recovered from the rubbish heap at the premises of Mafilm in Fót, a town just north of Budapest. Another film to be invited to this year’s Cannes Film Festival, this time to the Cinéfondation, is Katalin Moldovai’s graduation film. We are especially delighted to be able to support a young director’s first big step onto the international stage. To Katalin, the director of As Up To Now, and to Julianna Ugrin, who will be strengthening her international contacts in the Producer on the Move programme, we wish the best of luck and may you have many memorable moments!

Ágnes Havas CEO Hungarian National Film Fund


























Interview with Katalin Moldovai, Participant of the Cinéfondation



Hungarian Films at the Cinéfondation



The Original, Uncensored Version of The Witness at Cannes Classics



Interview with Julianna Ugrin, Participant of Producers on the Move



Cannes memories with Andy Vajna



Upcoming Films of Various Genres and Authors, Much-Awaited First Features and Comebacks




















NEWS xxxxxxxxxx Ildikó Enyedi and Léa Seydoux on the set of Story of my Wife - photo by Hanna Csata

FILMING OF ILDIKÓ ENYEDI’S NEW FEATURE, THE STORY OF MY WIFE, KICKS OFF Filming of Ildikó Enyedi’s new film was launched on 8 April and will conclude in Malta at the beginning of September. The film is an adaptation of Milán Füst’s novel, The Story of My Wife, which was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize for Literature and translated and published into more than 20 languages. The film stars the French actress Léa Seydoux and the Dutch actor Gijs Naber in the lead roles. The film will also feature Louis Garrel, Josef Hader, Ulrich Matthes and Udo Samel. The story depicts the highs and lows of the beautiful but excruciating love story between the Dutch sea captain Jacob Störr and the charming yet frivolous French woman Lizzy. Jacob meets Lizzy when one of his friends dares him to marry the next woman that walks into the café they are sitting in. The producer trio behind On Body and Soul, Mónika Mécs, Ernő Mesterházy and András Muhi from Inforg - M&M Film, is producing the film in co-production with Germany’s Komplizen Film, France’s Pyramide and Italy’s Moliwood. The screenplay was written by Ildikó Enyedi, the director of photography is Marcell Rév, the editor is Károly Szalai and the production designer is Imola Láng. The Hungarian National Film Fund has contributed EUR 355 000 towards the production. The film will premiere in the second half of 2020 and distribution will be handled by Mozinet. 4

László Nemes xxxxxxxxxx in Beijing

LÁSZLÓ NEMES WINS BEST DIRECTOR AWARD FOR SUNSET AT THE 9TH BEIJING INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL For his second feature, Sunset, the Academy Award-winning director Lászlo Nemes was handed Best Director Award by the Tiantan Awards Jury at the closing ceremony of the 9th Beijing International Film Festival. The jury consisted of the American director Rob Minkoff, the Chilean director Silvio Gayoqi, the Chinese mainland director Cao Baoping, the Russian director Sergei De Wattsvoy, the Hong Kong-based Chinese actress Carina Lau, the Iranian director Majid Makidi and the British director Simon West. There was a total of 775 film submissions from 85 countries and regions, featuring diverse genres and styles; these were narrowed down to the final ten winners selected for the Tiantan Awards. Sunset premiered in competition at the Venice International Film Festival and was awarded the FIPRESCI Jury Prize for Best Film. The North American premiere was held at the Toronto IFF.


Gábor Reisz in Monte xxxxxxxxxx Carlo

BAD POEMS WINS BEST FILM AWARD AT THE MONTE CARLO FILM FESTIVAL Bad Poems by Gábor Reisz won Best Film Award at the 16th Monte Carlo Film Festival, making it the first time that a Hungarian movie ever receives the highest honour in Monte Carlo. This year’s edition of the festival, conceived and directed by Ezio Greggio, took place from 4 to 9 March in the Principality of Monaco. The international jury was presided by the world-famous director Emir Kusturica, who said that “It’s much harder to do smart and elegant comedies than dramas”. Bad Poems was released in Hungarian cinemas last December and its international premiere was hosted by the Tallinn IFF. International sales are handled by HNFF World Sales.

xxxxxxxxxx Mr. Mare

HUNGARY IN FOCUS AT GO SHORT The Go Short International Short Film Festival Nijmegen took place for the 11th time this April, and its audience was in for a treat, as this year the spotlight was on Hungary. A total of 22 Hungarian short films were screened in various sections: the Fresh Meat programme, curated in collaboration with the Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival, contained a selection of recent Hungarian shorts, all reflecting on current affairs and skillfully tackling and depicting various sensitive topics; and the New Animations programme was dedicated to off-beat works by young and talented animation filmmakers, curated in partnership with the Kecskemét Animation Film Festival. As part of the screening of the Archive Works of the Béla Balázs Stúdió, the Hungarian National Film Archive took some rare gems to Go Short. A special screening was compiled by Bálint Kenyeres, who was one of the directors in focus at the festival, and Luca Tóth’s Mr. Mare was in competition for Best Animation — all in all, we are glad that this prestigious festival presence was able to bring a wider audience even closer to Hungarian short films!

Still from I Hope You Will Die Next xxxxxxxxxx Time :)

I HOPE YOU’LL DIE NEXT TIME :-) IS GOING TO CANNES I Hope You’ll Die Next Time :-) by Mihály Schwechtje was selected to take part in the Cannes Écrans Juniors section. This programme, which runs alongside the festival from 19 to 25 May, screens films that are deemed especially interesting for teenagers aged 13 to 15. The aim of the selection is to promote culture and the art of filmmaking by screening films about their own age group. Mihály Schwechtje’s debut feature will screen alongside eight other films. 5

Leila Jurdi and Bálint Gelley with the prizes of Cinemira

CINEMIRA-BUDAPEST CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL HELD FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS YEAR Hungary’s only children’s film festival, Cinemira, was held between 12 and 14 April. The Official Selection included a total of 50 animation, documentary and live-action short films that were especially made for young audiences. The main prize was awarded to Bálint Gelley for Door to Othertown: Scriptum by a jury consisting of children. The Award for Best Animation went to Mária Horváth for Gypsy Tales: how Humans were Made, a series adapting Roma folk tales, and the Award for Best Live-Action Short Film went to Leila Jurdi for Little Spicey, a tale of a secret friendship between a Chinese girl and a Hungarian boy. Best Documentary went to Rainbow Children — The Portrait of Elika, which portrays a Belgian–Iranian little girl; the director, Maryam Bayani, expressed her gratitude via a video message. The jury of the European Children’s Film Association (ECFA) awarded Janne Janssens’ stop-motion animation My Label, which qualified for the European Film Awards. The professional jury consisted of Vica Kerekes (actress), Tamás Patrovits (animation director), Dorottya Zurbó (director), Sára Haragonics (director), Ferenc Varga (journalist), Réka Gács (animation director), Cecília Bandeira (director) and representatives of international film festivals like Felix Vanginderhuysen (ECFA), Erik Tijman (Cinekid) and Judita Soukupová (Juniorfest). Besides the short film competition, spectators could watch restored and digitalised versions of classic Hungarian children’s films. Within the framework of a lecture organised by the Hungarian National Film Fund’s Fast Forward program, Erik Tijman and Felix Vanginderhuysen shared their experiences about the production and distribution of children’s movies. The event also held a Writers+Filmmakers meeting where authors of children’s books could present their works to filmmakers in the hope of it being adapted.

text by Eszter Knopp


Still from xxxxxxxxxx Cat City

30 APRIL IS THE DAY OF HUNGARIAN FILM Celebrated since last year in honour of Béla Zsitkovszky’s Táncz, the first-ever Hungarian film premiered in 1901, 30 April is the Day of Hungarian Film. This year various events such as projections, performances, talks and parties were organised in over 35 different cities, from Ankara to Lima, to celebrate Hungarian cinema, including 47 screenings organised by Hungarian institutions. Various organisations, cinemas, film clubs, schools, libraries and bars joined the event-series, offering a wide selection of interesting activities. At Toldi Cinema the Hungarian National Film Fund organised a series of screenings and a party focusing on Hungarian animations.

Still fromxxxxxxxxxx Symbiosis

STRONG HUNGARIAN PRESENCE AT THE ANNECY INTERNATIONAL ANIMATED FILM FESTIVAL This year Hungary will have a strong presence at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Nadja Andrasev will premiere her newest animation, Symbiosis, in the short film competition, while Entropia by Anna Flóra Buda and The Act of Breathing by Hana Yamazaki will compete in the graduation film competition. Alongside these, a new project by Zsuzsanna Kreif, Dino Doom on Desert Planet, will be presented at MIFA’s pitch forum. Annecy Classics will inculde Johny Corncob and Cat City.

György Ráduly (first one on the right) xxxxxxxxxx at the FIAF meeting - photo by Carine Roth

GYÖRGY RÁDULY VOTED MEMBER OF THE FIAF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) held its yearly congress from 7 to 13 April in Lausanne. The attending members voted that Budapest should be the location of the congress in 2022. The members also chose György Ráduly, the director of the Hungarian National Film Archive, to be part of the new executive committee. The federation is dedicated to establish guidelines and advise other organisations on how to better preserve and restore archival footage, as well as help them find an audience. Established in 1938, the federation now has more than 150 member organisations in over 77 countries. The Hungarian National Film Archive has been part of the federation since 1957 and hosted a congress in 1961, which was held in honour of George Mélies’ 100th birthday.

Fight Girl, Los Bando and Old Boy

HUNGARIAN STUDENTS VOTED FOR THE EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY YOUNG AUDIENCE AWARD Hungarian students had the chance to vote for the Young Audience Award, which has been awarded annually since 2012 by the European Film Academy. Within the framework of this initiative, teenagers aged 12 to 15 are each year presented with three European films. The films are screened simultaneously in 55 cities, after which the young audience can vote for their favourite one. The event that took place on 5 May in Tabán Cinema had over 40 participants from various Budapest schools. The three films that will screen (Fight Girl, Los Bando and Old Boys) were chosen by a professional jury especially for this age group. The Hungarian National Film Fund joined the initiative in 2013 in order to promote cinema attendance and to help young audiences watch films in a sensible and understanding way.

Still from xxxxxxxxxx Entropia

ENTROPIA WINS THE TEDDY AWARD AT THE 69TH BERLINALE At the 69th Berlinale Flóra Anna Buda’s graduation film Entropia won the prestigious Teddy Award for Best Short Film. Established in 1987, the Teddy Award is one of the most prestigious prizes in the LGBTQ+ community and is awarded to films that promote tolerance, acceptance, solidarity and equality within our society. The short film competition of this year’s Berlinale was made up of 24 films in total, from which two were Hungarian animations: Mr. Mare by Luca Tóth and Entropia by Anna Flóra Buda.

Still from the The Bears’ Famous Invasion xxxxxxxxxx

THE BEARS’ FAMOUS INVASION OF SICILY AT CANNES Lorenzo Mattotti’s The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily was selected into the official programme of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. The featurelength animation was partly created at the Kecskemét Animation Studio. The film will compete in the Un Certain Regard section and will go on to the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in June. 7

THE HUNGARIAN FILM COMMUNITY Find out more about Hungary’s recent success in the film industry: local comedies attract audiences, Hungarian service film industry is booming, and new talents are getting the chance to make their first features in the Incubator Program.




Live Action Feature

Feature-Length Animation

Feature-Length Documentary


TV Documentary


Short Animation

TV Film

Short and Experimental Film

Animated TV Series

Educational Documentaries

Online Content

More info:


There is no separate call for minority co-productions, but all projects with Hungarian story elements and/or Hungarian crew are encouraged to apply with a Hungarian co-producer on board.


Script Development

Project Development



Continuous Applications (No fixed deadlines)

Decision in 60 days (with feedback from readers and the decision of the Committee) 11

Dune director Denis Villeneuve

EVERYTHING FROM DESERT ISLAND TO VIDEO GAMES 2018 was a spectacular year for service productions in Hungary: we welcomed Arnold Schwarzenegger in the new Terminator movie as well as Will Smith for Gemini Man. Not many people expected this, but 2019 already seems even more eventful for local crews and our soundstages - let’s have a look at our top 5! Welcome to the Desert Planet The main event is of course the new adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel Dune. After David Lynch, this time it is the visionary Denis Villeneuve directing, and the cast is unlike any other film’s that shot here in recent memory: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgård, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Rampling and Dave Bautista star in the movie. This is of course the second time Denis Villeneuve stays in Hungary: not too long ago he filmed the entire Blade Runner 2049 in and around Budapest! Timothée Chalamet is also a regular in Hungary: he spent his last Summer in Hungary for the Netflix film The King, directed by David Michôd. Superman is Now Blonde Superman-actor Henry Cavill is also in town for the Netflix series The Witcher. Filming started at the end of last year and is expected to last until late Spring; based on the popular books and videogames, the series could be the next Game of Thrones. But The Witcher is not the only video game adaptation that chose Hungary as the location for their tv-series version:

The Bourne Series Another hot new series is Treadstone, which will explore the origin story and present-day actions of a CIA black ops program known as Operation Treadstone — a covert program that uses behavior-modification protocol to turn recruits into nearly superhuman assassins. If you find the word familiar, it is ain’t a coincidence: Treadstone is a spin-off from the Matt Damon-starrer Jason Bourne-films! Jeremy Irvine and Brian J. Smith will star. The Rainmaker Oscar-winning legendary filmmaker Barry Levinson (Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man) is also currently in Budapest until mid-May for his 27th feature film. Harry Haft stars Ben Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Danny DeVito and Phantom Thread’s Vicky Krieps. The film is set post-World War II and follows Harry Haft, a boxer who fought fellow prisoners in the concentration camps to survive. Haunted by the memories and his guilt, he attempts to use high-profile fights against boxing legends like Rocky Marciano as a way to find his first love again. 

A Trip to the 26th Century Based on the popular Xbox franchise, the long-awaited Halo tv-series will also soon start production in Hungary. It is being executive produced by Steven Spielberg, and Otto Bathurst — who recently directed the feature Robin Hood in Hungary — will helm the pilot and multiple episodes of the nine-episode series. The series will have American Gods actor Pablo Schreiber star in the lead role. Text by Gábor Osváth



Henry Cavill as Superman

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Over the past decades Hungarian cinema has earned its international reputation with serious masterpieces and festival hits like Son of Saul, On Body and Soul and One Day, which have drawn an increasing amount of local cinema-goers too. However, romantic comedy still rules Hungarian cinema in terms of popularity. Romantic comedy is traditionally the most popular genre of Hungarian film – and it has deep roots in national film history. Besides their domestic success, the romantic comedies of the 1930s starring Gyula Kabos, Pál Jávor and Katalin Karády gained international attention, in particular in Germany and Italy. They presented stories that subtly depicted the current social issues through a good mixture of love and laughter, with music usually playing a significant role. These elements are the ingredients for a recipe of contemporary comedies too – which is clear when one recalls the success of many recent Hungarian films. Last autumn audiences were seduced by Open, a fresh comedy directed by the emerging female director Orsi Nagypál. The story is about a young couple who have a loving but sexually deflated relationship, so fearlessly decide to turn it into an open one, involving new partners and challenges. Nagypál presents controversial situations like being cheated on but loved at the same time with style, as Open is able to remain funny and sexy without being vulgar or explicit. Before its domestic success the film was premiered in Montreal at an A-category festival and attracted the programmers of other international festivals such as Luxembourg CinEast, Fort Lauderdale and Fantasporto. The winter of 2018 welcomed another highly successful comedy, when the well-known Italian hit Perfect Strangers was carefully adapted into a Hungarian


version. Set at a New Year’s Eve party, a quirky game is played with mobile phones, resulting in life-changing dramas – just as Open depicted a relationship crisis as a comedy, the creators of Happy New Year also managed to combine humour with rather serious issues (being left alone, the difficulties of coming out, having an affair). One of the key reasons behind Happy New Year’s success could be that its audience can easily identify with the various characters of the film. The director Krisztina Goda and the scriptwriter Réka Divinyi virtuously brought a smooth dramaturgy to life with its many characters, as each received an almost equal amount of attention. Happy New Year became a real audience favourite, manifested by the Audience Award of the Hungarian Film Week. Even Paolo Genovese, the director of Perfect Strangers, declared the Hungarian version as being his favourite of the many remakes. After New Year’s Eve the next important event for most couples is Valentine’s day. This year it marked the date for the premiere of another Hungarian comedy entitled Flat for Fun. The original screenplay was written by Ray Cooney, who wrote Out of Order, which has become the most successful Hungarian film in the last 30 years in terms of cinema admissions. A fun fact is that the main actress, Kata Dobó, made her directorial debut in Flat for Fun, undoubtedly making Cooney an important author in her career. The pacey story of Flat for Fun compressed in one day revolves, yet again, around relationships and spicy love affairs. As Cooney comedies go in general, Flat for Fun is all about lying and being caught, resulting in a very funny and chaotic film. The audience adored it and showed the strongest opening weekend so far this year. 

Open by Orsi Nagypál

WHAT’S IN STORE? The series of well-made comedies is not over yet, as many promising films will premiere later in the year.

Cream by Nóra Lakos

Flat for Fun by Kata Dobó

Happy New Year by Krisztina Goda

Dénes Orosz has already made two highly successful comedies (Poligamy and Coming Out), so expectations are high for his newest feature Mimi. The film is about a film critic whose dying mother is obsessed with having a grandchild, so to give her some joy during her final hours, Gergő asks his neighbour Saci, who is five months pregnant, to visit her and pretend she is carrying her grandchild. A heartbreaking situation with many potential comic outputs.

Open, Happy New Year and Flat for Fun were all made by female directors. Another promising romantic comedy, Cream, was also directed by the emerging female director Nóra Lakos. The story is about 34-year-old Dóra whose love turns sour when the guy ends up marrying another woman. It seems she is also on the brink of losing the pastry shop she owns, the only joy in her life. From then on she is a woman with a mission, to get both her love and her shop back. Everything is set for Cream to become a fresh, amusing debut feature that will invite many viewers to cinemas. 

Text by Dániel Deák


This year was the fourth time the Hungarian National Film Fund (HNFF) organised its Incubator Program to help young filmmakers create their first feature film. Since its launch in 2015, a growing number of projects have been submitted each year. The ambition of the project is simple: to help young filmmakers get an easy start. Directors can send in their treatments, from which a jury consisting of film professionals makes a pre-selection of ten projects. The ten chosen projects then participate in a pitching forum, at the end of which five are awarded with a contribution that can reach a maximum of EUR 70 000 for documentary features, EUR 200 000 for features and EUR 265 000 for animations — excluding the 30% tax rebate.


The selected projects receive support in development and production, participate in workshops, are offered consultations and are provided with professional assistance provided by the HNFF and by mentors. Previous winning projects include One Day by Zsófia Szilágyi, which was selected for last year’s Critics’ Week at Cannes, and Blossom Valley by László Csuja, the 2018 winner of the East of the West Special Jury Prize at Karlovy Vary. Each year around 70 projects are submitted and pass on to the pre-selection phase. This year the jury consisted of film professionals Márk Bodzsár, Eszter Gyárfás, Orsi Nagypál and Éva Zabezsinszkij. Together they selected ten projects to move on to the script development phase of the program. With a contribution of EUR 6 400 the directors then had time to write up and polish their scripts as well as attend workshops where they could enhance their presentation and pitching skills. The projects were pitched to a professional audience in the final round of the program. The ten nominated projects this year were:

Blue Pelikan by László Csáki, I Look Into Your Eyes by Georgina Hegedűs, Blazing by Balázs Dudás, I Haven’t Died by Asia Dér, The Child by Ambrus Fatér, Dear Mary! by Lea Podhradská, The Apple of My Eye by Bernadette Mayer, Ice Cream Could Be Dangerous by Fanni Szilágyi, Boiling Point by Csoma Sándor, Eviction by Máté Bence Fazekas The pitching forum was held at the beginning of April at Corvin Cinema, a new location for the program. The event was a huge success with a great number of professionals attending. Three projects were selected by the jury, consisting of Júlia Berkes (producer), Péter Bognár (distributor), Virág Zomborácz (director, screenwriter), Zsófia Szilágyi (director) and Dorottya Zurbó (director), and two other projects were selected by the professional audience present at the event.

THE FIVE FINALISTS TO RECEIVE A CONTRIBUTION FROM THE HNFF WERE Blue Pelikan I Haven’t Died Eviction Apple of My Eye Ice Cream Could Be Dangerous



Five new projects have been selected within the framework of the fourth edition of the

Incubator Program to receive production funding.

Fanni Szilágyi: Ice Cream Could Be Dangerous / Text by Eszter Knopp


László Csáki: Blue Pelikan

Bernadette Mayer: Apple of My Eye

The feature-length animation documentary entitled Blue Pelikan, by László Csáki, is a nostalgic road movie portraying Hungary in the 1990s, with a lot of music. After the change of regime in 1989, Hungary’s borders are now open. Everyone wants to start exploring, especially the youth, but travelling is an expensive activity. Three friends decide to begin forging train tickets in order to make travelling affordable for their whole generation. The business attracts not only those seeking to travel, but the authorities as well. The film is based on real audio footage with the forgers themselves, the authorities and several travellers.

Apple of My Eye is about a 17-year-old boy who lives with his mother. The two are very close and all seems to be going well. Máté’s promising sports career brings him a newfound popularity and his first love. But tragedy strikes and disturbs the peace when his mother loses her eyesight. Máté suddenly has to become a partner, a caregiver and a breadwinner all at once, slowly losing his own place in the world. He falls behind at school and his sports career is over. When even his love dumps him, Máté decides to leave his mother alone. The two need to reach a compromise to avoid losing themselves or one another.

In Asia Dér’s I Haven’t Died we follow Gábor, a 51-year-old art dealer who was never had to depend on anyone or anything. However, everything changes when he learns that he has pancreatic cancer. His chances of survival are less than 5%, but he is not yet ready to give up on life. He will do anything to cure himself, from visiting world-famous doctors and natural healers to throwing himself into hedonism and penitence. He faces death almost in a childlike manner and fights its impending approach. He realises that he will only be able to heal once he is ready to confront himself and completely change his ways.

Éva and Adél may be twins, but the only thing they have in common is unhappiness and the carefully built facade that hides it. In Ice Cream Could Be Dangerous, by Fanni Szilágyi, the two sisters look for happiness in the wrong places and at the wrong time. Adél is a radiologist who is addicted to video games but who is unable to connect to anyone in real life, while Éva is the trophy wife of a successful businessman but is stuck in a bad marriage. Their lives lose balance when they both fall in love with the same man, a crane operator.

Eviction is the story of Richard, a young and ambitious bailiff and the successor of his father’s office. His first-ever case is the eviction of a harmless old lady. However, the lady starts threatening to blow herself up if anyone steps foot in the house. And so begins the longest day of Richard’s life. As the number of authorities that gather at the door in the wake of a bomb threat grows, the more Richard realises that his chance to prove he is a worthy successor to his father decreases. This story, by Máté Bence Fazekas, is the heroic battle of an old lady and a young bailiff over the course of one day.

Máté Bence Fazekas: Eviction

These five projects have a year to be completed, during which their creators can count on the professional support of the HNFF. Ágnes Havas, the CEO of the HNFF, said that the public will be hearing from promising young talents with very diverse projects, both in terms of topic and of genre. She underlined the fact that, thanks to programs such as the Incubator Program, successful films can be produced with a limited budget and great enthusiasm and can then go on to find their audience and compete at the most prominent film festivals around the world. 

Asia Dér: I Haven’t Died



Creators of Bad Poems

GÁBOR REISZ’ BAD POEMS WON FOUR AND LASZLO NEMES’ SUNSET WON SIX TROPHIES AT THE HUNGARIAN FILM AWARD CEREMONY CLOSING THE HUNGARIAN FILM WEEK ON THE 28TH APRIL IN ONE OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS THEATRES IN BUDAPEST, VÍGSZÍNHÁZ. The 5th Hungarian Film Week which is marked to celebrate the Hungarian films was held between 22th and 26th of April. The members of the Hungarian Film Academy voted by secret ballot on the films and filmmakers. Bad Poems, the second film of Gábor Reisz won 4 prizes including Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Supporting Actress. One Day, Zsófia Szilágyi’s first film which premiered in Cannes in 2018 achieved 3 prizes, László Nemes’ sophomore movie, Sunset took 6 technological categories.


Best Feature Film: Bad Poems directed by Gábor Reisz, produced by Juli Berkes, Estelle Robin You, Viktória Petrányi Best Director: Gábor Reisz for Bad Poems Best Screenplay: Réka Mán-Várhegyi, Zsófia Szilágyi for One Day Best Actress: Zsófi Szamosi for One Day Best Actor: Géza D. Hegedűs for The Butcher, The Whore and The Edina Kenesei, producer of One Day

One-Eyed Man Best Supporting Actress: Lili Monori for Bad Poems Best Supporting Actor: Zsolt Nagy for The Butcher, The Whore and

The One-Eyed Man Best Editor: Zsófi Tálas for Bad Poems Best Sound Editor: Tamás Zányi for Sunset Best Cinematographer: Mátyás Erdély for Sunset Györgyi Szakács, costume designer of Sunset

Best Music Composer: László Melis for Sunset Best Make up: Böbe Forgács, Viktória Csatári for Sunset Best Costume Design: Györgyi Szakács for Sunset Best Production Design: László Rajk for Sunset Best First Feature: One Day directed by Zsófia Szilágyi, produced by Ági Pataki, Edina Kenesei Best Animation: Ruben Brandt Collector directed by Milorad Krstić

Gábor Reisz, director of Bad Poems

Best Documentary Film: Ghetto Balboa directed by Árpád Bogdán Best Educational Documentary: Wild Balaton by Szabolcs Mosonyi Best Short Film: Siege by István Kovács Best Animation Film: Luther directed by Zsolt Richly Best TV Film: Trezor by Péter Bergendy

Zsófi Szamosi, actress in One Day

Audience Award: Happy New Year directed by Krisztina Goda, produced by Tamás S. Zákonyi, Péter Geszti, Edit Ditz

Creators of Trezor


Barry Levinson / photo by János Posztós

FAST FORWARD TAKES ON A NEW LEVEL If 2018 was a busy year for the Fast Forward Program, then 2019 is no different. John McTiernan, the director of Die Hard, Barry Levinson, the director of Rain Man, and Ewa Puszczyńska, the producer of Ida, were the biggest names on this year’s crowded schedule. It’s old news: since Hungary raised the tax rebate from 25% to 30% in 2018, Budapest has become one of continental Europe’s most popular destinations for international productions. This year the capital welcomes filmmakers like Denis Villeneuve and actors such as Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson and Stellan Skarsgård (Dune), Clive Owen and Tim Roth (Song of Names) and Henry Cavill (The Witcher), Danny DeVito and Ben Foster (Harry Haft). More stars and more shootings mean that the Hungarian film industry needs film professionals more than ever. In 2017, the Hungarian National Film Fund (HNFF) initiated the Fast Forward Program, an innovative series of lectures and practice-oriented workshops to help junior industry professionals and film students keep up with the ongoing

Text by Anita Libor


demand. The organisers invited film scholars, tutors and professionals from all over the world to present their expertise to the Hungarian industry. At the beginning, international experts held lectures and seminars on film writing, script developing, pitching, film acting and postproduction. However, for the 2018/2019 school year, new territories like animation, film law and VFX technology were also included as part of the program. 2019 kicked off with Nikolaj Nikitin who lectured about film festival strategies and British filmmaker Peter Greenaway’s materclass in a collaboration between Budapest Zeitgeist and Fast Forward Program. John McTiernan, the director known for Die Hard, Predator and Hunt for Red October gave a masterclass about the glory days of action movies in the fully crowded Urania National Film Theatre. Later in February

Sibylle Kurz gave a lecture on the importance and cruel reality of pitching for this year’s participants of the Incubator Program. The Fast Forward Program was invited to collaborate with the French Institute Budapest to organize a talk for Philippe Godeau on the relationship between directors and producers. And in March Anders Kjaerhauge, from Lars von Trier’s Zentropa, brought hands-on knowledge on how to deal with real-life clearance issues and the legal problems of filmmaking. Friss Hús International Short Film Festival was the hosting partner for two masterclasses: Ewa Puszczyńska, the producer of the Polish Academy Award-winning Ida and Academy Awardnominated Cold War, shared her thoughts on the art of co-productions, and Jean-François Le Corre spoke about animation without borders. Felix Vanginderhuysen and Erik Tijman gave a lecture entitled “What makes a children’s film successful?”, hosted by Cinemira International Children’s Film Festival. The semester’s closing event was a masterclass by Barry Levinson who is currently working on his forthcoming feature film in Hungary and was happy to share some of the memorable moments of his 50 years of filmmaking. (For those who missed the lectures, video recordings can be accessed online on the HNFF’s YouTube channel.)

Barry Levinson | photo by János Posztós

“I can speak for all of us: it was a larger-than-life experience!”

John McTiernan, Attila Árpa | photo: Bálint Hrotkó

The Fast Forward Program is not breaking for the summer, either: in August it offers its first ever summer program with Hungarian filmmakers György Pálos, Gábor Ferenczi, Dorottya Zurbó (Easy Lessons) and László Csáki (Blue Pelikan) mentoring at the nine-day long filmmaking camp. 

THE INTERNSHIP — IN A HUNGARIAN MOVIE A complex initiative called the Film Training Program was launched by the HNFF in 2016. To alleviate the shortage and to increase the competitiveness of local film production, a website was installed to channel students and newcomers into the various internships of running film productions. The site lists productions with available placements and provides news and information about the film industry as well as educational opportunities. Producers can access a database of potential applicants by exploring their educational background and professional experience. Up until now 601 interns have been working in 158 productions.

Ewa Puszczyńska | photo by Lili Chripkó

“I got some very useful and practical tips on my body language and posture.”

Sibylle Kurz | photo by Gábor Valuska




Open-air screening on the Szent Istvรกn square


Jean-Marc Barr

Between 4 and 8 September 2018, nearly 15 000 people attended the various programmes as part of the second Budapest Classics Film Marathon. Each night the square in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica as well as the two cinemas that hosted the festival were packed. The public could enjoy quality screenings and had the chance to meet world-famous stars. The Film Marathon opened with the Oscar-winning Mephisto being screened in the presence of its director István Szabó, its cinematographer Lajos Koltai and the legendary actor Klaus Maria Brandauer. Claudia Cardinale, the outstanding personality of European art cinema, was met with thunderous applause as she greeted the several hundred people gathered to watch The Leopard and Once Upon a Time in the West. Open-air screenings of the fully restored Man of Gold, Moscow Square and The Big Blue were also cause for celebration. The latter was introduced by Jean-Marc Barr, who played the lead role in the film. Katinka Faragó — Ingmar Bergman’s producer — held a masterclass on the framework of the Film Fund’s Fast Forward Programme, and Gérald Duchaussoy, the director of the Classics section of the Cannes Film Festival, personally introduced films dedicated to the Cannes Classics. The heads of numerous European film archives as well as significant film historians, like David Robinson, also attended the festival.

Katinka Faragó

Ágnes Havas & Claudia Cardinale

During the ‘professional day’ the public could watch Hungarian sci-fi films from the 1930s, hear a lecture about the different versions of Man of Gold, and glimpse into the remarkable story about the restoration of Abel Gance’s 10-hour epic Napoléon. The public also showed great interest in the summary of the role played by Hungarian filmmakers in Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s and in the screenings of old Hungarian promotional films and movies showcasing Budapest from the past. Numerous outstanding works featured in the animation films programme, including Marcell Jankovics’ restored Johnny Corncob, Zsolt Richly’s János Háry, John Halas’ Animal Farm, the Oscar-winning The Fly and the recently restored Cat City. Each evening more than 1 000 people attended the open-air screenings and more than 11 000 people participated in the programmes that took place in Budapest, and nearly 4 000 in those in Győr and Eger. There will be a new and extended edition of the Film Marathon in September this year, with about 100 films, movie rarities and open-air screenings – all in a single week. The leading topics will be the relationship between music and film, and the 30th anniversary of the change of regime. So let’s all meet up in Budapest! 

István Szabó, Klaus Maria Brandauer & Lajos Koltai photos by Miklós Déri


FROM CANNES TO CANNES Past, present and future of Hungarian cinema in Cannes:

The Witness in Classics, As Up to Now in CinĂŠfondation and Julianna Ugrin in Producers on The Move







INTERVIEW WITH KATALIN MOLDOVAI Katalin Moldovai graduated from the Budapest Metropolitan University with her short film As Up To Now, which has been invited to the Cinéfondation programme of this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The movie is about an elderly mother and her middleaged daughter. It turns out that the mother is ill and only has months left to live, an issue both have to face – as well as the nature of their relationship.

Text by Bálint Kovács photo by Gábor Valuska


Be honest, did you really expect to be selected into the Cinéfondation competition of the Cannes Film Festival when you sent your short film to them? I was pretty surprised when they sent me an email saying that my film had been selected. It was signed by Dimitra Karya, the director of the selection. To be sure, and before I told the other crew members, I quickly Googled whether it was really Cinéfondation that we were talking about, because it just seemed so unbelievable. The majority of Hungarian movies tell stories about younger or middle-aged people, but the older generation is rarely seen on canvas. Why did you choose this topic? We wanted to adapt a contemporary Hungarian short story. It may sound strange, but we had to consider that our university only had a certain amount of money to fund a student’s film, so we had to choose a short story with few characters in it. That’s how we found As Up To Now by Krisztina Tóth. The topic of mothers and daughters has always interested me; that’s the reason behind the representation of the older generation. Is your own private life the reason behind your interest in the mother–daughter topic? Of course. You always become part of your own movies. Things can only be truthful and genuine if they have happened to you too: things that you can’t untangle in your own life, things that you want to work on or change or things that you don’t want to experience yourself, or at least not the same way as they happen in your movie. With As Up To Now, my situation is the latter. What interested you more in the short story: how to deal with a serious illness or the incapacity of the mother and daughter to communicate with each other? The incapacity to communicate. So often are we scared to be honest and say what we think and feel, I guess mainly out of fear. A lot depends on what kind of family you grew up in, how everyone communicated and what you saw and learned from your parents, because we will always carry that with us in our lives. We should protect some of it but we should also lose some of it. You grew up in Transylvania but you directed your short film while studying at the Budapest Metropolitan University. How did you end up there? I was awarded my bachelor’s degree at the Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca where I specialised in film, photo and media. After that I applied to study in Budapest. To be honest I wanted to go to Bucharest, but to be able to do that I would have had to have applied with a film shot on 35mm. Whereas at Sapientia we could only shoot digitally, which made it impossible for me to get in.

veins. To feel the same elsewhere you have to live in another society for at least two years. When I arrived in Budapest I wasn’t able to move within the spaces of the city as I would have had it been home. I needed two years before I could find my way around. But in those two years you attended classes at university. My first year was really hard. I lost the solid ground to stand on. But then I realised that human feelings are actually universal: jealousy, love and death are the same everywhere. Everything else, culture and history of a certain society, are only additions to all that. But realising that cost me all my time at the University of Theatre and Film Arts (Editor’s note: UTFA, which is considered to be the main and most important film university in Budapest). I needed more time to get through these feelings, but it’s something I didn’t realise back then. Now, years later, I must say I’m happy that my story at UTFA ended, even if I didn’t feel that way at the time; but life has proven that it just wasn’t my place to be. So did you have thoughts about leaving everything behind and going back home? I don’t give up that easily! You learn the most through failures. Although I can’t say that the thought didn’t cross my mind never to do anything in the film industry again. I was given the opportunity to go back and do further study at UTFA. I spent a whole week thinking about what to do, even writing up a list of pros and cons of UTFA and of my other option, the Metropolitan University. But it was while I was sitting in a cafe in Greece that I suddenly heard a Hungarian song being played on the radio. I still can’t believe how that Hungarian-language hit started playing right there and then. The refrain went something like “Never say it’s over but only that that’s it, it was worth it. And if it was worth it, you can turn the page.” It was then that I knew I wasn’t going to go back. Do you have any plans for a feature film? Yes. I have plans for a movie that I could only shoot in Romania and I have plans for one that I could only shoot in Hungary. So I guess you are happy to have two places to call home. Absolutely. I speak another language, I know another culture. This is something that has only given me good things in life. I’m happy with that.

Why did you want to study in Bucharest? Because I knew the ambience better, I was more familiar with the milieu. You feel at home where you grew up. You understand why people behave how they behave and why they say what they say; you know where their words come from regardless of whether they’re speaking Hungarian or Romanian. It’s all in your


Still from Here I Am

A STARTING POINT AT THE CROISETTE HUNGARIAN FILMS AT THE CINÉFONDATION Hungarian cinema and the Cinéfondation have had a long and fruitful relationship: this year, it is Katalin Moldvai’s turn to show how her international filmmaker career can start at Cannes.

text by Anita Libor


Stills from Little Apocrypha No. 2 The Cinéfondation is a foundation that works under the aegis of the Cannes Film Festival. It was created in 1998 by Gilles Jacob to inspire and support the next generation of international filmmakers, but has since developed complementary programmes to help achieve its goal. It is divided into three parts, one of them being The Selection. Each year the Cinéfondation receives over 1 000 student films sent in by film schools from all over the world; then The Selection, a parallel section of the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival, has to choose fifteen to twenty shorts and medium-length films to be projected at the Cannes Film Festival and presented to the Shorts Jury. The best three receive their award at an official ceremony as part of the festival. The first and most prestigious Cannes alumni who started his international filmmaking career at the Cinéfondation is Kornél Mundruczó. Over the years, Mundruczó’s movies have been shown in every section of the festival, and little by little he has made his way up the ladder by climbing it in a specific yet original way. In 2004 Mundruczó became the first Hungarian director to ever be invited to the Cinéfondation, with his graduation film Little Apocrypha No. 2 (2002), a pre-study to Delta (2008). Joan of Arc on the Night Bus (2003), a short film that was originally part of an omnibus film, got invited to the Directors’ Fortnight before being developed into a separate opera feature entitled Johanna (2005), which would be presented by Un Certain Regard. Delta won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Competition and White God (2014) received the main award from Un Certain Regard. His latest effort, Jupiter’s Moon (2017), had its premiere at the 70th Cannes Film Festival in competition.

In 2006, Ágnes Kocsis’ diploma film The Virus won third prize at the Cinéfondation of the 59th Cannes Film Festival, and Fresh Air (2006), her first feature film, was presented at the International Critics’ Week section of the same edition of the festival. Adrienn Pál (2010), her second feature film, premiered at Un Certain Regard and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize in 2010. Her third film Eden is currently in postproduction. See page 45 for more details. Bálint Szimler’s short film Here I Am (2010) was a big sensation in Hungarian cinema. The black-and-white journey of Viktor through the Budapest nightlife won the main prize at the Hungarian Film Week and was invited to the Cinéfondation. In 2014, György Mór Kárpáti and his diploma film Provincia made their way to The Selection, while his debut feature Guerilla had its international premiere at the Goteborg Film Festival in 2018. In 2016, Nadja Andrasev and her animation The Noise of Licking was selected to the Cinéfondation and won third prize. Her fourthcoming short, Symbiosis, will have its international premiere at this year’s Annecy Film Festival. So now it is Katalin Moldvai’s turn to show how an international filmmaking career can start at Cannes. Her diploma film from the Metropolitan University, As Up To Now, is a story about old Margit who lives by herself. At the hospital with her estranged daughter Judit it turns out that Margit has cancer. But as she is deaf she does not hear the diagnosis, and Judit is unable to tell her mother the truth. 

Still from The Noise of Licking



“ON THE SOCIALIST GHOST TRAIN” It is now 30 years since the change of regime started in Hungary. Nothing characterises the ousted socialist dictatorship better than Péter Bacsó’s biting satire A tanú/The Witness. Filmed in 1969, it became a cult movie in Hungary despite the fact that (or precisely because) for ten years it was locked up by the Kádár regime. The Witness, a film that lifts the veil on the mockery of show trials, is set during the Rákosi era in the 1950s. József Pelikán, a dike-reeve, lives with his large family in a small house on the dyke, far from civilisation. It is his job to monitor the water level of the Danube. One day he comes across a poacher fisherman who turns out to be an old friend, Zoltán Dániel, who was made a minister of state in 1949. In 1944, the two of them had battled against the fascist Arrow Cross party, and Pelikán had hidden the one-time resistance fighter in his cellar, precisely where he now conceals the pork sides of an illegally slaughtered pig. When the State Security Force (ÁVO) turns up in response to an anonymous tip, it is the minister himself who betrays his friend and reveals his one-time hiding place to the police. After this, the naive Pelikán finds himself caught up in a series of incomprehensible events. Pelikán is driven in a secretive black limousine from the prison to the managing directorates of an amusement park, swimming pool and then orangery in order for comrade Virág, who is pulling all the strings in the background, to eventually ask him for a big favour: will Pelikán be the key witness in a show trial against his friend, Zoltán Dániel, who stands accused of spying and treason. Pelikán, a simple person, is ideologically insufficiently ‘developed’ for lying. It proves hopeless teaching him the trial text he has to stick to, as the charge is so absurd that he forgets his role and himself ends up in prison – for the fourth time. The day of the execution arrives. He shouts in vain for the executioner; the prison director congratulates him on winning his freedom and


Pelikán returns to the dyke. “József Pelikán, that’s me,” announced Péter Bacsó. “I too started as an absolute loyalist in 1945, believing in the socialist utopia and becoming a fighter for its ideal.” In this sense as well The Witness is a typical auteur film in which every motif is a reality that is based on specific, own experiences. Pelikán’s three tests with which the authorities ready him for the Great Trial are not satirical fabrications: during the Rákosi era the amusement park really was plastered with pictures of Engels; there really was a socialist orange orchard cooperative, the chief of which was decorated with the Kossuth Prize; and Mihály Farkas, the infamous Minister of the Interior during the Rákosi era, on whom the Bacsó modelled Comrade Bástya, really did empty a grammar school swimming pool for his own use. The Communist Manifesto itself is evoked “on the socialist ghost train”: “a spectre haunts Europe… and the fist smashes down.” But “Life is not a cream cake”, “I won’t start an argument”, “The international situation is heightening”, “A touch green, a touch sour, but at least it’s ours”. Satirical humour shows most perfectly the practice of the period, the mixing of reality and justice, in phrases that have since become proverbial. It is also apparent in powerful visual motifs, for example a painting of the dragon-slayer St. George, with Rákosi’s head, on the secret doorway in the residence of Comrade Virág, a character modelled on the chief of the State Security Force, Gábor Péter. This is the door through which Madam-Comrade Gogolák steps in order to serve piglet cutlets to the pretend-puritan, Pharisee Comrade Virág. The latter deals an ideological blow to his deputy because of her short skirt: “let’s leave the pornography to the opium of the decadent West!” Just as the insert at the beginning of the film suggests, Bacsó, together with Marx, thought “he would happily like to part from his past”: we will not carry out what we are capable of laughing at.

In this ‘two-faced’ period characterised by post1968 Hungary, the subject of the 1950s was extremely problematic. Society lived through 1968 and then through the reforms of the New Economic Mechanism, yet the relapse following the invasion of Czechoslovakia determined the fate of the film. Although Kádárist policy attempted to distance itself from the 1950s, in truth it could not because the defining power structure of both the Rákosi and the Kádár systems was identical: single-party dictatorship of the proletariat. The social criticism of The Witness was too savage, with the leading personalities of the Kádár system recognisable in the main characters. The authorities shied away from these popular comic forms seen by the masses. Even though the screenplay was approved, György Aczél, the all-powerful figure of Hungarian culture policy, considered The Witness to be an ‘experimental film’ without any guarantee that it would ever be screened, just like all the films made by the Balázs Béla Studio. The shooting and the series of shutdowns, the cutting of certain scenes and inserted shots – the squabble between authority and art – was typical of the late 1960s. The authorities suggested behaviour along the lines of ‘I’m angry at you, not against you’, while Péter Bacsó – in the interest of having the film screened – was prepared to make several cuts and insertions.

“I cut the entire prison scene of Zoltán Dániel - Pelikán, so by doing this I make it impossible to draw even the most tenuous connection to the Rajk trial,” he wrote in notes to the Film Directorate. In the scene, Zoltán Dániel says to Pelikán: “Look, Jóska... I certainly did not end up here by accident... One can be guilty even when one does not know about it.” The authorities were concerned with possible associations to Rajk, the Minister of Interior found guilty at the first show trial, because a mass demonstration at his reburial on 6 October 1956 largely contributed to the outbreak of the ‘56 Revolution. The film was sealed up for ten years, although it was seen by more viewers at ‘secret screenings’ than it would have had it been distributed. It was only in 1979 that it was officially shown in a small cinema at a time when the series of ‘fifties’ films started with the global success of Vera Angi by Pál Gábor and The Stud Farm by András Kovács (1978). At the special request of Gilles Jacob, the Cannes festival director at the time, Aczél permitted the film to be screened at Cannes. In 1981 it proved extremely popular in the Un Certain Regard section and the screening rights were purchased by 32 countries.



Zoltán Fábri, Ferenc Kállai & Péter Bacsó on the set of The Witness’ photo by Sándor Domonkos

The original uncut version was reconstructed by the Hungarian National Film Fund – Film Archive on the basis of the only uncensored version surviving in the stock of MOKÉP, the film distribution company during the age of socialism. This version differs from the version screened in 1979 in that it still contains the cell scene referring to László Rajk, and the conversation between Pelikán, Gulyás and the Priest is extended, where the Priest contrasts the millennial stability of the church with the new communist system. The inspiration behind the film, a quote by Karl Marx, appears at the beginning, whereas in the standardised version it is at the end. The scene of ‘Comrade Virág and Pelikán on the tram’, although shot, does not appear in this original version. This was a sort of explanatory frame in the film, generally made at the request of the censor. In the era, such frames were inserted in other films as well, as is the case for The Upthtrown Stone and Ten Thousand Suns. This was done in order to distance the story and give the viewer the possibility of an overview, and thus help get the film shown.


“Just a single copy survived in print form, meaning it was not possible to duplicate it. It lacks the highly dramatic scene when József Pelikán visits Zoltán Dániel on death row. This was cut out of the film and destroyed, and I could not reconstruct it,” Péter Bacsó told András Gervai (The Witnesses, Saxum, Budapest, 2004. 105.) This is the version that the Film Fund has now reconstructed with the help of digital techniques. While the film’s content was being assembled on the basis of the reconstructions of the film positive, the Film Archive stumbled across the negative outtakes of the censored parts during the processing of werk materials received from Mafilm! Filmlabor could then integrate these into the film in full and colour grade them to the restored material of the standard version. This made it possible to see the censored version in excellent quality. The complete, 4K restoration of the film was carried out as part of the long-term digitalisation and filmrestoration programme of the Hungarian National Film Fund, supervised by the Film Archive. 

Péter Bacsó, a Kossuth and Balázs Béla Prizewinning director and the Master of Hungarian Moving Pictures, is an ‘institution’ in the history of Hungarian film. In addition to his directorial oeuvre, the list of films in which he participated as a script consultant, ideas man, screenwriter, lyricist, studio director and producer is inexhaustibly rich. Although, of the films he directed, only The Witness (1969) – which was banned before becoming a cult movie – actually made it to Cannes, in the Un Certain Regard section, 12 years after the film was made (1981). Bacsó worked as a writer on numerous other great Hungarian films that attained worldwide success and were entered into the Cannes festival. Bacsó was born in Kosice in 1928. His mother was the Hungarian author Boris Palotai. In 1940, he and his mother escaped the deportations in the countryside by moving to Budapest. In 1950, he graduated from the film direction faculty of the College of Theatre and Film. During the 1950s he worked as a script consultant and screenwriter, and directed 33 fulllength feature films and TV series. His first auteur films about youth still fascinate viewers with their freshness and uniqueness (No Problems in Summer (1963), Cyclists in Love (1965), Fatal Shot (1970)). He gained international fame with his film Summer on the Hill (1967) in which the war and internment camps are processed in a Modernist style. The bestknown work in his oeuvre, The Witness (1969), which depicts the show trials of the 1950s, became a symbol of the era. He also analysed the era in a biographicallike dramatic form in A Day Before Yesterday (1981)

and Stalin’s Bride (1990) as well as in operetta form in …Oh, Bloody Life! (1983). He directed a canning factory musical (Dashing Girls (1974)) and historical films of various genres (What’s the Time, Mr. Clock? (1985), Titánia, Titánia (1988) and Smouldering Cigarette (2001)). In 1995, he made the changeof-regime adventures of dyke-reeve József Pelikán (Witness Again). In 1955, Bacsó convinced his friend, Zoltán Fábri (who was later to be one of the lead actors in The Witness), to shoot the film Merry Go Round based on the novel Leányvásár by Imre Sarkadi. The film was a global hit at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival for Fábri, the actress Mari Törőcsik and Hungarian filmmaking in general. Together with Fábri, he wrote the screenplays for Anna and The Brute, which also went on to compete at Cannes. The list is even longer for the films he worked on as a script consultant for another of his contemporaries, Károly Makk. Liliomfi, which bypassed all schematic clichés, was recognised in the Cannes competition in 1955. This was followed in 1971 by the Jury Prize-winning film Love, the first version of which Bacsó had also contributed to in 1963. He and Makk worked together on Catsplay (1974) and Very Moral Night (1977), which was nominated for the Oscar and also started in the competition section. 

text by Eszter Fazekas, photos by Sándor Domonkos




INTERVIEW WITH JULIANNA UGRIN In recent years Julianna Ugrin has produced socially conscious and formally inventive documentaries through her Budapest-based independent production company Éclipse Film — films about Hungarian gay communities during the Kádár era (Hot Men Cold Dictatorships), a Somalian refugee (Easy Lessons), a Bhutanese family (The Next Guardian), teenagers with a troubled home life who work at the Children’s Railway (Train to Adulthood) or modern-day slavery (A Woman Captured). She has been selected as one of the European Film Promotion’s Producers on the Move in 2019.

Text by András Huszár photo by Gábor Valuska


How did you become a producer specialising primarily in documentary filmmaking?

How many sources can you draw the budget from for a documentary film?

I got into filmmaking through documentaries. After graduating from university with a Masters in French Philology, Italian Philology and Culture Management, I went into business and soon discovered that I prefer culture. I started working at a film production company and, after hearing a lecture, applied for Eurodoc, an international workshop for documentary producers. It was then, when I first saw incredible documentaries made for the big screen, that I fell in love with documentary filmmaking. After that it was a long road, of course, until I got to make films — I founded Éclipse Film in 2011.

Well, in Hungary there’s the Hungarian National Film Fund which supports feature-length films intended for theatrical release. There’s a TV fund called MTVA Mecenatura; the TAX incentive; and HBO Europe, which is extremely important for documentaries. What makes it a bit more complicated is that it’s not really possible in Hungary to combine these different financing sources, and during the planning or development phase we often have to prove that our film is not only for TV, but that it has a place in movie theatres as well. There are also international sources: for our Hungarian–Bhutanese production, The Next Guardian, we successfully applied for Creative Europe MEDIA funding from the EU and we had help from the IDFA Bertha Classic Fund, which supports projects from developing countries, and the IDFA Bertha Europe Fund for European co-productions. We also resorted to crowdfunding and had KRO-NCRTV as our co-producer from the Netherlands.

How do you choose your projects? What do you look for when you hear pitches from directors? The most important thing is whether I can embrace and identify with the story, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to represent it. Every documentary is a challenge that spans several years. Even Easy Lessons, for which we received financing through the National Film Fund’s Incubator Program, presented many road blocks and new developments along the way. I have to be able to fight for a film wholeheartedly. And then there are budgetary constraints and time limits, of course, which also determines how many projects we’ll be able to juggle at the same time. With documentaries one generally works with an extremely small crew. Do you find it results in a tighter personal and professional relationship between director and producer? And do you have to wear more than one hat? Yes, but the same goes for the production manager, or anyone in the crew, really. We simply don’t have the resources to have a different person for each and every task. For example, with A Women Captured, the director [Bernadett Tuza-Ritter] shot the whole film by herself. Multitasking is an inherent part of documentary filmmaking. Sure, we usually have a treatment as a starting point, but with a doc, where you follow someone for a prolonged period of time, you just can’t write a whole script. A story takes shape as it is being developed and is finalised during editing; and I’m there for the whole ride. A producer has much more of a creative role, with a strong personal and working relationship with the director. It’s my responsibility to resolve legal problems and protect the film, while at the same time guarantee the safety of the subjects, see to it that no one takes advantage of them and that they won’t regret making the film. Is it difficult to decide when a documentary’s story has run its course and when it’s time to end it, knowing that an interesting event might be just around the corner? There are directors who’d love to shoot forever, and I have to be smart about saying: okay, we have to finish it now. We cannot go over the budget, and post -production is not cheap, and editing always takes longer than it does with a feature film — we have to build a story from 100 or 200 hours’ worth of footage, without a scripted shot list. We have constant discussions from the get-go about where the story is heading, how we can build a narrative, what would an optimal endpoint be and when we can expect it to come true.

In the last couple of years there has been a new boom in Hungarian documentary films, wherein more and more documentaries are distributed in cinemas — Easy Lessons, A Woman Captured, Nine Month War —, and so are able to reach a bigger audience. How do you find this new wave? It’s a confluence of many different forces. The three films you’ve just mentioned were all distributed by ELF Pictures, a company dedicated not only to distribute but also to produce documentaries. They spend a lot of time and energy bringing these films to theatres so that more people can see them. Soldivision also represents films in alternative distribution, bringing The Next Guardian to cinemas, for example. We had to bring a few high-quality docs to the table to convince them that they are worth showing on the big screen. At the same time, we have to educate audiences and try to get them accustomed to seeing documentaries in movie theatres, because it can be a wonderful experience. There is still a misconception about docs being boring, and my hope is that we can eradicate that. Can you tell me about your future projects? Sure. We have Above the Line by Anikó Mária Nagy, which is about a mother and her two daughters who are professional swimmers and about cultivating talent from the viewpoint of a parent. Liquid Gold by Tamás Almási is about the Aszú from Tokaj seen through the work of three winemakers; it will be premiered later this year, followed by cinema release. Our Father, codirected by Márton Vízkelety and myself, is the story of a Catholic priest who decides to renounce his vows and abandon his profession to assume the responsibility of having a family. And Wardens of Memory, by Klára Trencsényi, is about a rapidly evaporating Jewish community in Cochin, India, and those who want to preserve its memory for the next generations. We’re also developing two features: Beauty Queen by Áron Mátyássy, which is based on a real, tragic story from the 1980s, and Recordings, by Diana Groó, a formally experimental project about an infamous blood libel from the 19th century. This last project is part of this year’s ScripTeast, and the last rounds of pitching will happen at Cannes, which we’re very excited about it. 


“CANNES WILL NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT HIM” - CANNES MEMORIES WITH ANDY The 72nd Cannes Film Festival will be the first one without Andrew G. Vajna. The film producer and Government Commissioner in charge of the Hungarian film industry died in January at the age of 74. He was a major player in the Hungarian and international film industry as well as being for decades a beloved and respected figure along the Croisette.

In the late 80s Andy decided to rent a yacht in Cannes and did so every year up until last year. Every night he enjoyed hosting anyone who wanted to come on board and spend some time with him and his guests. It was always a mix of the famous and not-so-famous. If you were his friend you were always welcome. It was an ‘open house’ where you could stay as long as you wanted and Andy, the ever-gracious host, made sure your evening on the yacht was enjoyable. I will miss Andy greatly, and in particular the nights in Cannes will be somewhat lonelier given that the ability to stop in and say hello is no longer there. LAWRENCE STEVEN MEYERS, PRODUCER


Our Andy was a rockstar! I can only say that my family and I will miss the famous ‘doo be doo be doo’ little song that Andy would constantly be singing as well as the warm and cozy feeling wherever he was, be it on a yacht, at home in the kitchen or at a table discussing business! GIANNI NUNNARI, FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCER AND EXECUTIVE

I have been going to Cannes since I was 18 and started going out with Andy in the 80s. There are just too many great memories and stories, but it definitely won’t be the same if and when I go back. The Carolco mark is still everywhere, we were unique. They called us FRIC&FRAC.

He left the world, and the film business, a better place, and he will always be remembered. I will miss our annual meeting on his boat, where he graciously hosted his friends and business associates and shared his friendship and wisdom. He was a very dear friend, and I will always love him.” JIM GIANOPULOS, CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES

MARIO KASSAR, FILM PRODUCER, INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE AND VAJNA’S PARTNER I first met Andy, along with his then partner, Mario Kassar, in 1977 at the beautiful old Cannes Casino before it was torn down and replaced by the current concrete bunker. We discovered we were fellow Hungarians. He recounted his time in Hong Kong and I shared my hope to produce my first film, In Praise of Older Women, written by the Hungarian-born novelist Stephen Vizinczey. The following year we were both in Cannes again where Andy, perched in Carolco’s strategically located office on prime real estate on the Croisette, in front of the old Miramar Hotel, was selling In Praise of Older Women. Cool and poker-faced, he and and Mario were young pups closing deals as if they were seasoned veterans. I hovered at their office, pestering them. It went well and led to Andy selling my next three films internationally. Andy was gifted with tremendous intelligence and X-ray vision. He had an uncanny ability to pierce through showbiz hype and see things exactly as they were. ROBERT LANTOS, FILM PRODUCER

For many years Andy and his Intercom team impeccably managed Twentieth Century Fox’s film releases in Hungary. My meetings with Andy were alway serious but also fun. I don’t think I ever met Andy in an office! His office was wherever he happened to be - in his restaurant in Budapest, at a studio in LA, at a Hungarian Film Premiere or on his yacht in Cannes! Andy was always welcoming people and was a consummate host. And I cannot help feeling that he mostly achieved what he set out to do. He was a very rare breed and a true doyen of the Global Film Industry! PAUL HIGGINSON, EXECUTIVE VP FOR TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

In Cannes Andy and I became important when he agreed to let me run the Summit company that he had started with Bernd Eichinger and Arnon Milchan. I was not his first choice to begin with, but he eventually decided to trust me. So from May 1993 we would be in Cannes together - well, kind of, as Andy entertained the talents on his yacht and I sold the movies he produced. Based on the important financial commitments of those films we were in contact, on average, every hour of the day, and the evening was made to entertain the likes of Bruce Willis, Madonna and Antonio Banderas, as well as all the filmmakers that Andy generously flew in to Cannes. The table at Tetou, one of his favourite restaurants in Golfe Juan, was very happy to welcome Andy’s caravan of talents, reserving him the biggest table available in the joint. PATRICK WACHSBERGER, PRODUCER


COMING SOON Upcoming films: various genres and authors, much-awaited first features and comebacks. This is where you can learn all about them.








A vampire tale set during the Cold War. At the beginning of the 70s, the People’s Republic of Hungary organises a blooddrive for Vietnam, which is at war with the United States. As the guest of honour, a vampire sets foot on the communist country’s soil. A young couple who works for the Hungarian secret police is assigned to monitor the stranger and to find out the secret behind his eternal youth. During the vampire hunt, a love triangle sparks and everyone has to choose between love, blood and communism. Márk Bodzsár graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in 2010 and has directed a handful of short films. His first feature project, Heavenly Shift, secured him the Nipkow Fellowship in Berlin. He is also known for writing Hungarian teleseries like Alvilág and Társas játék, and script-editing films like Valan (see later) and The Wednesday Child.

The love of 34-year-old Dora’s life has broken up with her, or even worse: he has married another woman. Her only joy, the pastry shop she owns, also appears to be lost. She makes up her mind to get both her ex-boyfriend and her pastry shop back, even if it means she has to lie. Along the way she meets other families as well as her ex-boyfriend’s new wife. These meetings make her realise the love she is clinging to has no real basis. Dora stops living in a state of romantic self-pity, puts an end to the lying and opens up to the possibility of a new, real relationship. Nóra Lakos is a graduate of Tamás Almási’s (see later) class at the University of Theatre and Film Arts. Cream is her first feature after many award-winning shorts, teleseries and a documentary.



Éva is allergic to all kinds of chemical substances, radio waves and electronic fields. She needs to live in total isolation; her only contact is with her brother and the doctors that keep experimenting on her. One day a psychiatrist comes to investigate if her illness is real or just imagined. Is love able to save her? At the 2006 Cannes Film Festival Ágnes Kocsis’ short film The Virus won third prize in the Cinéfondation and her first feature film, Fresh Air, was presented in the International Critics’ Week. Adrienn Pál, her second feature film, premiered at Un Certain Regard and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize in 2010. Eden is her third feature.

A renowned professor of cardiology, who in his youth wanted to be an opera singer, returns to his village after retirement to become the local GP. In the village he faces conflicts he has not confronted, the attitude of servitude, how rumours and fake news can manipulate general opinion, and the intricate network of interdependent relationships. The only person with whom he can share his troubles is his childhood classmate, now the village priest. He clashes with the mayor of the village over a forest spring falsely claimed to have healing properties. He is so savagely attacked over the issue that he decides to leave the village. He needs to seek another path to survive, and finally fulfils his youthful ambition, finding himself through music and song. The most well-known Hungarian helmer, István Szabó was nominated for an Academy Award for Confidence, Colonel Redl, Hanussen. His film Mephisto won the Academy Award in 1981.



Gergő and his teenage friends are into three things: partying, sex and how many online followers they have. One night, at a party, Lilla falls victim to the boys. A dare gets out of hand and the young boys’ world changes forever overnight. #party #sexy #shame #challenge #girls #summer #swag #bdfcknpst #bff #hungary #fun #rage #followme #FALKA_channel Attila Hartung graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in 2017 in Ildikó Enyedi’s class. His first feature is about Generation Z.


Dávid is a mature age student studying music. He has a special relationship with the youth orchestra’s conductor, Mr. Kerekes, an engaging teacher in his 60s. A relatively new addition to the orchestra is 13-­year-­old Nóri, who is still an outsider as the ‘new girl’ and who has little self­-confidence. Dávid’s life turns slowly upside down when he finds out that Nóri is being molested by Mr. Kerekes. Zoltán Nagy graduated from the Budapest University of Theatre and Film Arts in Péter Gothár’s class of 2015. His diploma film, Enyhén sós (2016), received critical acclaim.



The Aszú of Tokaj, a sweet wine of Hungary, was once cherished by King Louis XIV, Queen Victoria, Peter the Great, Goethe and Beethoven. But the world has since forgotten the noble Aszú; two world wars, the enforced collectivisation of the Communist regime and the deadly filoxera epidemic had all wreaked havoc on the vines. Three men: István Szepsy, the scion of a great Hungarian wine-making family, András Bacsó, the managing director of Oremus, and László Alkonyi, a once-successful stock broker who fell in love with wine-making and moved to Tokaj. One shared obsession: to return the Great Wine to its place on the most important tables of the world. Tamás Almási is the most well-known contemporary Hungarian documentary filmmaker. He graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in 1979. To date he has made more than 20 full-length documentaries. He also teaches filmmaking at the University of Theatre and Film Arts.


Gergő is a film critic whose mother is obsessed with having a grandchild. She has serious heart disease and has only days left to live. To give his mum some joy during her final hours, Gergő asks his neighbour Saci, who is five months pregnant, to visit his mother in hospital with him and tell her that she is carrying his child. It all goes smoothly, but a new heart arrives, and his mum is operated on and makes a good recovery. Therefore, Gergő and Saci are forced to play the roles of the loving couple. Dénes Orosz graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in 2006. His first feature, Poligamy (2009), was one of the most popular Hungarian films the year it premiered and his controversial second feature, Coming out (2013), was another huge success. He is also known for the Hungarian teleseries Csak színház és más semmi and Hacktion.



We talk about coincidence if happiness and freedom suddenly appear when hopeless paths encounter. Like that of the heroes of our ironic tale. The marriage of Gertrud and Misi, fading into a union of many years, is disrupted by Alban, a former student of Gertrud’s. Their only son Zoli also falls in love with the rebellious girl coming from afar. The love of Gertrud and Alban even gives a chance for Misi, left alone, to restart. Furthermore, the girl’s thirst for freedom brings a new turn into their shared life. Péter Gothár made his first feature film, A Priceless Day, in 1979, and received international acclaim for his film Time Stands Still (1981). He directs theatre and television but has also been teaching at the University of Theatre and Film Arts.



A strange, triangular story that takes place by a lake between a man and two women. It’s about letting go, repeating relationships, paying attention to each other and about how hard it is to change. Cecília Felméri studied law, film directing and puppetry acting in Romania. She currently teaches at the Sapientia University in Cluj-Napoca. Her short films, such as Infinite Minutes (2011), Mathias, Mathias (2010) and Cuckoo (2008), have won many awards worldwide. Spiral is her first feature.


After WWII, a lonely man and an orphaned teenage girl find their way back to life through love in Budapest. Aladár lost his wife and two children in the camps but keeps himself together working as a gyneacologist. Klára hasn’t had her first period yet and is still waiting for her father and mother to come back from… well, she only knows they are ‘war prisoners’. Her grandma takes her to see Dr. Aladár, and the two find something in each other that they’ve been missing for years. As they get closer and closer they get better and better. But as the Communist Party and the Soviet Empire take over in Hungary, their loving and pure father– daughter relationship is no longer considered acceptable. Barnabás Tóth was born in Strasbourg but now lives in Budapest. As a child actor he starred in Ildikó Szabó’s Child Murderers (Gyerekgyilkosságok, 1993). He has made a series of shorts, his latest work, Chuchotage (2018), has been shortlisted for an Academy Award.


Tales from the Prison Cell is about the relationship between fathers in prison and their children at home. In addition to presenting three incarcerated fathers, we gain insight into the changed lives of their families and children. As we become familiar with their daily lives, we witness the distance and even the closeness that grows between the inmates and their families. As a way of keeping in contact, the inmates write fairy tales for their kids which we then make into films with their participation. The stories convey messages that the fathers have come to see as basic truths during the course of their own lives and believe are important to pass on. Within these stories, in the freedom created by fiction, father and child can be united once again. Ábel Visky studied at Sapientia University in Cluj-Napoca, then graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in 2017 in Ildikó Enyedi’s class. He has made several shorts such as Maflicsek (2013), Romanian Sunrise (2015) and Semmi bogár (2016).





1945, Hungary. Shortly after the end of World War II, when chaos and insecurity reign supreme in the country, a con man tries to take advantage of such confused times. Forced to flee Budapest, he is given shelter in the woods by a mysterious woman and her son. Still trying to confront his demons, he soon finds himself in a passionate love affair with the woman whose husband is about to return home from the front. Hungarian writer-director Attila Szász graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in 1996. For several years he worked as a film critic and in 2002 he started directing. His films have screened at over 180 film festivals and have won 50 awards combined, receiving critical acclaim and becoming audience favourites all over the world.

Tamas Barta was a legendary rock guitarist of the 70s. He was born in Budapest in 1948 and emigrated to the United States in 1974, where he was killed in 1982 under mysterious circumstances. In Hungary he was the best rock guitarist of his generation, but his dream was to emigrate and live in the States, which was illegal in the time. The film is based on “audio-letters” that for several years Barta and his mother exchanged on audiocassettes between Budapest and Los Angeles. Did Barta find what he was looking for in the Western world where he could speak and live freely? Did he manage to build a new life for himself without the control of the dictatorship and his intense mother? How and why did he die? Eszter Hajdú is an award-winning documentary director with films such as My Own Private, Tarnabod (2005), The Fidesz Jew, the Mother with no Sense of Nation, and Mediation (2008) and Judgement in Hungary (2014).



In the middle of nowhere is a tiny village in Hungary where the Tuza family lives. After the shock of Tobias’s desire to change sex, it was obvious to all members of the family that they had to support him. However, his mother Eva silently suffocates from the idea of losing the girl she raised; meanwhile, Tobias has to become independent of her. His job is not only to become a man, but to become an adult. They have to fight with the bureaucracy of the state and with being judged by their community, but mostly with their biggest fears. Can the Tuzas love survive this transition? Alexa Bakony studied documentary filmmaking at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Tamás Almás’ class.

Péter investigates a sex-trafficking ring as a big city cop in Brasov. He has dedicated his life to finding women who have disappeared, and he sees his sister Juli in every girl he saves. Juli disappeared twenty-two years ago in their hometown, Valan, in the ensuing chaos of the Romanian Revolution of 1989. Péter has to return to the Transylvanian mining town after receiving a phone call that the body of his sister might have been found among the pines on a snow-capped mountain. His personal investigation in Valan not only forces him to confront a crime rate that is stifling the town, but it also takes him back to the labyrinth of the past where he must face his own demons. Béla Bagota graduated from the the University of Theatre and Film Arts. He has worked as an assistant director in films like Heavenly Shift, Swing and Bad Poems. Valan is his first feature.



NEW FILMS FROM HUNGARY Flip through the latest titles in every genre and learn about casts, crews and contacts.



BAD POEMS (Rossz versek)

97 min, 2018

Director: Gábor Reisz Main cast: Gábor Reisz, Donát Seres, Mátyás Prukner, Barnabás Prukner, Katica Nagy, Zsolt Kovács, Katalin Takács, Lili Monori, Niels Schneider Producers: Júlia Berkes, Estelle Robin You Production companies: Proton Cinema, Les films du balibari Festivals:, Sales:,

33-year-old Tamás Merthner is heartbroken when his girlfriend Anna, who is on a scholarship in Paris, breaks up with him. While wallowing in self-pity, Tamás takes a trip down memory lane to figure out if love only exists once it’s practically gone. As he’s trying to pick up the pieces, he begins to realise what makes this current society so confused, which gives us a highly subjective view of present-day Hungary. Gábor Reisz graduated from Film History and Film Theory at ELTE’s Faculty of Humanities in Budapest in 2006 and as a film director from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest in 2013. His debut feature, For Some Inexplicable Reason (2014), an unconventional coming-of-age story, premiered at the Karlovy Vary IFF and became a cult film in Hungary, as well as being a big success at the box office and on the international festival circuit. In 2015 he was invited to the Cannes Film Festival’s residence programme, where he developed Bad Poems. Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2019 - Hungarian Film Award - Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress: Lili Monori, Best Editing: Zsófia Tálas 2019 - Monte-Carlo Film Festival - Best Film 2018 - Torino Film Festival - Jury’s Special Mention, Scuola Holden Award for Best Script, AVANTI Award 2018 - Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival




86 min, 2019 First Feature Film Director: György Mór Kárpáti Main cast: Gergely Váradi, Blanka Mészáros, Benett Vilmányi Producer: Viktória Petrányi Production company: Proton Cinema Festivals and sales:

In 1849, the liberation war against the Habsburg Empire is coming to a close in Hungary. Having evaded military draft, Barnabás leaves his hometown and walks across the country to find and save his wounded brother who has been in hiding with a guerilla group deep in the forest. Despite their exhaustion and lack of food or information they continue fighting for their cause. Barnabás finds his brother alienated and distrustful. The tension between the boys further increases when they turn out to be attracted to the same nurse in the camp. Hoping he can earn his brother’s trust and take him home, Barnabás decides to stay and lie about his past. In the meantime, he has to face the cruelty of war. György Mór Kárpáti is a Budapest-based film director and writer. He studied at the Directors’ Department of the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest. His short films Forest and Provincia have been selected to major international film festivals such as Berlinale and Cannes (Berlinale shorts and Cinéfondation). Guerilla is his first feature film. Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund. HNFF Incubator Program selection

FESTIVAL 2019 – Göteborg International Film Festival


97 min, 2018

Director: Krisztina Goda Main cast: Tamás Lengyel, Franciska Törőcsik, Ferenc Elek, Gábor Hevér, Viktória Szávai, Éva Bata, Béla Mészáros Producers: Péter Geszti, S. Tamás Zákonyi Production company: Flashback Ltd. Festivals:,

A group of friends have been celebrating New Year’s Eve together for years. After a serious conversation about the secrets that cell phones hold, everybody puts theirs down on the table. The rule is that when anyone receives a call, a text message, an email, a picture or an audio message they have to share it with the others. The game starts out playfully but quickly turns serious when secrets, lies and betrayals that have been kept hidden come to light…

Happy New Year is based on Perfetti sconosciuti, a film produced by Medusa Film S.p.A. that Paolo Genovese directed and for which he wrote the original script as well as the original screenplay along with Filippo Bologna, Paolo Costello, Paolo Mammini and Rolando Ravello. Krisztina Goda has directed several award-winning short films as well as television commercials and a documentary. Just Sex and Nothing Else was her debut work as a feature film director. The romantic comedy starring Judit Schell, Kata Dobó and Sándor Csányi was an outstanding success in Hungarian cinemas, reaching more than 500 000 viewers. Her second feature film was about the 1956 Hungarian Revolution called Children of Glory, which was produced by Andrew G. Vajna. Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund


HIER (Tegnap) 118 min, 2018 First Feature Film Director: Bálint Kenyeres Main cast: Vlad Ivanov, Djemel Barek, Jacques Weber, Gamil Ratib, Johanna Ter Steege, Toulou Kiki, Feodor Atkine, Jo Prestia, Isaka Sawadogo Producers: Andrea Taschler, Jamila Wenske Production company: Mirage Film Festivals:, Sales:,

The main character, 50-year-old Victor Ganz, owns a thriving building and civil engineering company that operates worldwide. Some very costly problems on a building site in North Africa mean he has to go there (he hates traveling), to a country where he is confronted with memories of his youth which have been carefully buried in the depths of his mind. Meetings in ministries, disinformation, the reappearance of a past love who had mysteriously disappeared, and an investigation in the local underground to find her make Victor Ganz slowly plunge into a labyrinthine world where present and past intertwine. Bálint Kenyeres’ shorts have been in competition in Cannes, Venice, Sundance and 200 other film festivals. He is the winner of the European Film Academy Awards as well as 60 other international awards. Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund.

FESTIVALS 2018 - Locarno Film Festival - Filmmakers of the Present Competition 2018 - Netherlands Film Festival, Utrecht 2018 - Alter-Native International Film Festival, Targu Mures 2018 - Marrakech International Film Festival 2018 - Cinequest, San Jose

2019 - Hungarian Film Award - Audience Award FEATURES


HIS MASTER’S VOICE (Az Úr hangja) 108 min, 2018 Director: György Pálfi Main cast: Csaba Polgár, Eric Peterson, Ádám Fekete, Diána Magdolna Kiss, Angelo Tsarouchas, Ildikó Bánsági, Kate Vernon Producers: Ferenc Pusztai, Michael A. Dobbin Production companies: KMH Film, Quiet Revolution Pictures Festivals:, Sales:,

The main character, Péter, is in his late thirties when he thinks he recognises his father in a documentary about a mysterious accident. His father deserted Communist Hungary in the 70s, a criminal offence under that regime, and has not been heard of since. Péter travels to the United States and, after an eventful investigation, finds his father with his new family. The reunion triggers plenty of experiences and teaches several lessons to both father and son. As a consequence the world is informed that the mute universe has spoken and that we are not alone. György Pálfi is a director and writer known for Hukkle (2002), Taxidermia (2006) and Freefall (2014). Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund.

FESTIVALS AND AWARD 2019 - Fantasporto, Porto - Best Special Effects 2019 - Febiofest, Bratislava 2019 - Febiofest, Prague 2018 - Tokyo International Film Festival 2018 - Trieste Science+Fiction Film Festival 2018 - Torino International Film Festival



HOPE YOU’LL DIE NEXT TIME :) (Remélem legközelebb sikerül meghalnod :) ) 96 min, 2018 First Feature Film Director: Mihály Schwechtje Main cast: Szilvia Herr, Kristóf Vajda, Csaba Polgár Producers: Ferenc Pusztai, Viktória Petrányi Production company: KMH Film Festivals, sales:

16-year-old Eszter is secretly in love with her English teacher, while Peter, also 16, is hopelessly in love with Eszter. One day the teacher announces that he is leaving the school to move to London. That same day, Eszter receives a farewell email from him. An online affair begins and spirals into sexual abuse. Mihaly Schwechtje is a director and writer also known for Hideg berek (2008) and Szep magyar szo-kep-tar (2010).

FESTIVALS 2018 - Montreal World Film Festival 2018 – Cottbus Film Festival 2018 - Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

LAJKO - GYPSY IN SPACE (Lajkó - Cigány az űrben) 90 min, 2018 First Feature Film Director: Balázs Lengyel Main cast: Tamás Keresztes, József Gyabronka, Tibor Pálffy, Anna Böger, László Fehér, Beniuk Bohdan Producer: Ferenc Pusztai Production company: KMH Film Festivals:, Sales:,

This black comedy invites us to learn that the first living being in space was not actually a dog called Lajka but a Hungarian crop-sprayer by the name of Lajkó. We discover that, in early 1957, the Soviet Union decided to present Hungary with the honour of providing the first cosmonaut to orbit in space. The most suitable candidate turns out to be none other than Lajos Serbán, known to all as Lajkó, whose life as a pilot reflects his lifelong attraction to the stars and an unexplored infinity with the outer space. When he is eventually selected for this daring mission, he has little notion of the fact that it is not by chance that his dreams are to come true… Balázs Lengyel is a Hungarian writer-director who has worked on several features and TV projects, including the award-winning HBO series Golden Life. Lajkó Gypsy in Space is his directorial debut. Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund.

FESTIVALS AND AWARD 2019 - Febiofest, Prague 2018 - Trieste Science+Fiction Film Festival Audience Award 2018 - Warsaw International Film Festival 2018 - Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

ONE DAY (Egy nap) 99 min, 2018 First Feature Film Director: Zsófia Szilágyi Main cast: Zsófi Szamosi, Leo Füredi, Ambrus Barcza, Zorka Varga-Blaskó, Márk Gárdos, Annamária Láng, Éva Vándor, Károly Hajduk Producers: Ági Pataki, Edina Kenesei Production company: Filmpartners Festivals, sales:

Anna is 40. She is always in a rush. She has three children, a husband, a job and financial stress. Anna meets deadlines, makes promises, takes care of things, brings stuff home and remembers everything. But she never has enough time to catch up with her husband. She’d like to talk to him. She feels she is losing him. And she feels she can’t always dodge what comes next. A clash between the everyday, the unbearably monotonous and the fragile and unique. Zsófia Szilágyi graduated from the University of Pécs in 2002. She continued her education as a film and TV director at the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest between 2002 to 2007. In 2011 she won a Goethe Institute scholarship to go to Hamburg. She also worked and casting directed Ildikó Enyedi’s Oscarnominated On Body and Soul. One Day is her first feature film and was selected to Critics’ Week in 2018. Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund. HNFF Incubator Program selection

SELECTED FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2019 - Cleveland International Film Festival Central and Eastern European Competition Award 2019 - Hungarian Film Award - Best Actress: Zsófia Szamosi, Best Screenplay, Best First Feature 2018 - Cannes Film Festival - Critics’ Week - FIPRESCI Prize 2018 - Art Film Fest Košice - Best Actress: Zsófi Szamosi 2018 - Sarajevo Film Festival - Best Actress: Zsófi Szamosi 2018 - CinÉast, Luxembourg - Grand Prix 2018 - Cairo International Film Festival - Best Actress: Zsófi Szamosi 2018 - New Horizons International Film Festival, Wroclaw 2018 - AFI Fest, Los Angeles 2018 - Camerimage, Bydgoszcz 2018 - Gijon International Film Festival


OPEN (Nyitva) 98 min, 2018 First Feature Film Director: Orsi Nagypál Main cast: Csilla Radnay, Lehel Kovács Producers: Gábor Kálomista, Dorottya Helmeczy Production company: Megafilm Festivals:, Sales:,

This is a relationship dramedy about a couple in their 30s adventuring through the confusing thrills of nonmonogamy. Hoping to escape the seemingly inevitable cheatings and betrayals, Fanni and Bálint come up with a desperate plan to save their loving but sexually deflated relationship by simply opening it. Hand in hand, they dive deep into the brave new world of 21st-century dating, realising too late that the waves can be quite murky and overwhelming. What at first seems like awkward fun soon becomes a dangerous and painful game of trust and emotions. The film explores the challenges of modern-day mating from a strong female point of view, looking at gender roles and our (false) expectations of sex and relationships with quirky humour and honesty. Orsi Nagypál is a Hungarian filmmaker who escaped the glitzy world of advertising to study at the London Film School. Since 2011 she has been busy directing short films and TV shows commissioned by HBO Europe and Hungarian TV. Her shorts have screened at festivals like Clermont-Ferrand and she has developed her projects at Binger, Ekran, Sources2, Sarajevo City of Film and the Berlinale Co-prod market. She is mostly interested in everyday heroes, human sexuality and how we find our true selves whilst struggling with the constraints of society. Open is her first feature film. Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund.

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2018 - Montreal World Film Festival, Canada 2018 - CinÉast, Luxembourg 2018 - Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival Best Movie, Best Foreign Film 2018 - Fantasporto, Porto


SUNSET (Napszállta) 142 min, 2018 Director: László Nemes Main cast: Juli Jakab, Vlad Ivanov, Evelin Dobos, Marcin Czarnik Producers: Gábor Sipos, Gábor Rajna Production companies: Laokoon Filmgroup, Playtime Production Festivals: Sales:

1913, Budapest, the heart of Europe. The young Irisz Leiter arrives in the Hungarian capital with high hopes of working as a milliner at the legendary hat store that belonged to her late parents. She is nonetheless sent away by the new owner, Oszkár Brill. While preparations are underway at the Leiter hat store to host guests of uttermost importance, a man approaches Irisz out of the blue, looking for a certain Kálmán Leiter. Refusing to leave the city, the young woman follows Kálmán’s tracks, her only link to a lost past. Her quest leads her through the dark streets of Budapest, where only the Leiter hat store shines, into the turmoil of a civilisation on the eve of its downfall. László Nemes was born in 1977 in Budapest. His shorts have beenawarded 30 prizes at more than 100 international film festivals. His first feature, Son of Saul, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, was awarded the Grand Prix, and later received both the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2016. Sunset is his second feature film. Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund.

SELECTED FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2019 - Beijing International Film Festival - Best Director: László Nemes 2019 - Hungarian Film Award - Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Score, Best Sound 2018 - Venice International Film Festival - FIPRESCI Prize 2018 - Seville Film Festival Best European Co-Production 2018 - Toronto International Film Festival 2018 - London Film Festival 2018 - Busan International Film Festival 2018 - Luxfilmfest, Luxembourg 2018 - Hong Kong International Film Festival

X-THE EXPLOITED (X - A rendszerből törölve) 114 min, 2018 Director: Károly Ujj Mészáros Main cast: Móni Balsai, Zoltán Schmied, Zsófi Bujáki, János Kulka, Szabolcs Bede-Fazekas Producers: András Muhi, Gábor Ferenczy Production company: Focusfox Studio Festivals:, Sales:,

Who would believe that a policewoman suffering from serious panic disorders is afraid of getting anywhere near a crime scene and so has been on permanent office duty for more than a decade? Who would believe a lone mother who is unfit to pay her mortgage and raise her rebellious teenage daughter? Indeed, no one believes that this troubled woman has discovered a serial murder case. Personal dramas and a murder mystery unfold in present-day Budapest, where the demonstrations of an angry new generation are part of the pre-election life of a city, where both the old and the recent past still haunt its people, resulting in concealed and horrendous crimes. This is a city where nothing seems honest or true except for an emotionally unstable policewoman and her misfit daughter who wants to know who her father truly was. Born in 1968, Károly Ujj-Mészáros has made 10 short features, has won 12 prizes at more than 30 national and international short film festivals, has shot over 200 commercials over the last 15 years and has directed two plays. He also has a university degree in economics. Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund.

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2019 - Fantasporto, Porto - Best Screenplay 2018 - Braunschweig International Film Festival Volkswagen Main Prize 2018 - Warsaw International Film Festival 2018 - Chicago International Film Festival 2018 - Film Fest Ghent

RUBEN BRANDT, COLLECTOR (Ruben Brandt, a gyűjtő) 94 min, 2018 First Feature Film Director: Milorad Krstic Main voices: Iván Kamarás, Zalán Makranczi, Gabriella Hámori Producers: Péter Miskolczi, Radmila Roczkov, Hermina Roczkov, János Kurdy-Fehér Production company: Ruben Brandt Production Festivals:, Sales:,

Ruben Brandt, a famous psychotherapist, is forced to steal 13 paintings from world-renowned museums and private collections to prevent his suffering from terrible nightmares. Accompanied by four of his patients, he and his gang of thieves strike regularly and with great success: The Louvre, Tate, Uffizi, Hermitage, MoMA. ‘The Collector’ quickly becomes the most wanted criminal. Milorad Krstic is a central European artist who was born in Slovenia in 1952. For his first short animated film My Baby Left Me (1995) he was awarded the Berlinale Silver Bear, and for his interactive CD-ROM ‘Das Anatomische Theater’ (1999) he won the Best Interactive ProjectAward at Annecy MIFA.

SELECTED FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2019 - Hungarian Film Award - Best Animation Feature 2019 - Göteborg International Film Festival 2019 - Tromso International Film Festival 2019 - Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival 2019 - Dublin International Film Festival 2019 - British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) 2019 - Annie Awards 2019 - Hong Kong International Film Festival 2018 - Anim’Est, Bucharest - Best Feature Film 2018 - Seville Film Festival - Best Screenplay, CICAE Prize for Best First Film, ASECAN Prize for Best Feature Film 2018 - Trieste Film Festival - Sky Arte Special Prize 2018 - Anima, Brussels - BeTV Award for Best Animated Feature 2018 - Locarno International Film Festival 2018 - Sarajevo Film Festival 2018 - Warsaw International Film Festival 2018 - CinÉast, Luxembourg 2018 - Mumbai International Film Festival 2018 - Animation is Film Festival, Los Angeles


WILLY AND THE GUARDIANS OF THE LAKE - TALES FROM THE LAKESIDE: WINTER ADVENTURE (Lengemesék 2 - Tél a nádtengeren) 70 min, 2018 Director: Zsolt Pálfi Producer: Réka Temple Production company: Cinemon Entertainment Festivals: Sales:

The green Verdies are tiny yet brave guardians of the lakeside. Verdies only become guardians when they’re old enough for their hair to turn brown. Until then life is boring. The green-haired youngsters are not allowed to fly on warblers to row boats alone on the lake or even to ride wild frogs at the rodeo. Willy Whistle’s dream is to become a guardian, but his curiosity always gets him into trouble. When the enemies of the lakeside - the Grimps and the Swans - enter into alliance and put the entire lake at risk, Willy has the chance to prove his value to everyone. As the guardians are helpless against these enemies, Willy shows that with his secret inventions, like the storm glider and the plastic bottle motorboat, he can save the lake while at the same time protect the environment. As autumn arrives at last as the birds set out for their long flight to a warmer climate, we follow the change of season through the eyes of the Verdies. Suddenly the water rats launch a terrible attack against them and against all creatures around the lake. Born in 1972 in Budapest, Zsolt Pálfi has contributed to dozens of animated projects as animator, animation supervisor and director. Besides directing Tales from the Lakeside he was the animation supervisor for feature films such as The Legends of King Solomon, the international series The Travels of the Young Marco Polo and

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2019 - South Cinematographic Academy Fim & Arts, Burgos - Best Animation Feature 2019 - MovieScreenPro Film Festival, Los Angeles Best Feature Animation 2019 - Luxfilmfest, Luxembourg 2019 - Santa Cruz Film Festival 2019 - Colortape International Film Festival, Brisbane


ALLA ZINGARA 52 MIN, 2019 Director: Glória Halász Main cast: Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra Producers: Gábor Osváth Production company: Filmfabriq Kft. Festivals, sales:

The Alla Zingara music documentary tells the story of music’s groundbreaking and uplifting power which creates entity through the history of the world-famous but uniquely Hungarian Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra and its extraordinary musicians. Glória Halász has made five full-length documentaries, many of which have featured at several high-standard professional film festivals, have won main prizes or have been internationally distributed. Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

NINE MONTH WAR (Kilenc hónap háború) 72 min, 2018

VETERANFILM (Veteránfilm) 50 min, 2018

Director: László Csuja Main cast: János Lelics, Erzsébet Lelics, Zsanett Pál Producers: Ágnes Horváth Szabó, András Pires Muhi Production companies: ELF Pictures, Filmpartners Festivals, sales:

Director: Csaba Hernáth Main cast: János Szentiványi, Endre Frankó Producers: László Józsa Production company: Speak Easy Project Festivals, sales:

Nine Month War tells the story of a mother and her son Jani living in the shadows of the military conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Combining visuals of cinema verité and mobile footage of war, Jani’s fight for adulthood unfolds over the nine months of his military service and the time after his discharge.

Veteranfilm introduces two special elderly flightenthusiasts. They survived the horrors of World War 2 as fighter pilots and endured the socialist era as well. They were never led by political ideologies but found their happiness among the circumstances of the time. Their cheerful wisdom is an unmissable example.

László Csuja lives in Hungary. His debut feature Blossom Valley was awarded in Karlovy Vary. Nine Month War is his first feature-length documentary.

Csaba Hernáth is co-owner, cinematographer and editor of the Speak Easy Project. He was a key crew member of ULTRA (DOP, assistant editor) and the editor of Ghetto Balboa. His first direction is Veteranfilm.

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2018 - Sarajevo Film Festival - Special Jury Prize 2018 - Iran International Documentary Film Festival, Cinéma Vérité - Jury Special Mention 2018 - DOK Leipzig

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council

FESTIVAL AND AWARD 2018 - Karelian International Film for Youth Festival Best Documentary



EASY LESSONS (Könnyű leckék) 78 min, 2018 First Film Director: Dorottya Zurbó Main cast: Kafia Said Mahdi Producer: Julianna Ugrin Production company: Éclipse Film Festivals, sales:

Kafia is 17 years old. Three years ago she fled to Hungary on her own, escaping a child marriage in Somalia. She has been living in a children’s home in Budapest ever since. She learns the language, goes to high school, prepares for the Hungarian graduation exam and has started a modelling career. On the surface, everything seems fine. However, behind that beautiful and confident appearance lies a heavy heart. Her repetitive daily routine revolves around constant dilemmas and self-doubt about leaving behind her Muslim culture and everything she grew up with. The film slowly becomes an intimate confession. What does it mean, on the brink of adulthood, to break with your past and fully give yourself up to a new self in order to live in Europe? Dorottya Zurbó (Budapest, 1988) graduated from the first edition of DocNomads Joint Master. Her short films have won several awards and have screened at many festivals (Verzió, One World, Doclisboa, Zagrebdox, Jihlava). She co-directed a documentary (The Next Guardian, 2017) shot in Bhutan, which premiered at IDFA in the First Appearance Competition and has already participated in many international festivals. Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund. HNFF Incubator Program selection

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2019 - Hungarian Film Award - Best Editing in a Documentary 2019 - Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2019 - HotDocs, Toronto 2019 - ZagrebDox - Youth Jury’s Special Mention, “Movies That Matter” Special Mention 2018 - Sarajevo Film Festival 2018 - Locarno International Film Festival


GHETTO BALBOA (Gettó Balboa) 84 min, 2018 Director: Árpád Bogdán Main cast: Mihály Sipos, Zoltán Szabó Producers: László Józsa, Ildikó Kosztolni, Attila Ponczók, Gábor Ferenczi Production company: IAMNEWHERE Ltd. Festivals, sales:,,

For the past eight years a former mafioso of the infamous Budapest Ghetto has been teaching boxing to the poor young children of the neighbourhood. One of his students fights his way up to box for a world championship belt. He is given the chance to prove to his comrades that there may be a way out of the ghetto. Árpád Bogdán lived in a children’s home from the age of four. During his university years he worked as an actor and a stage director in various theatres. His directorial debut, Happy New Life (2007), premiered in the Panorama section at Berlinale in 2007 and was internationally acclaimed. His latest feature-length fiction, Genesis, premiered at Berlinale in 2018 and won a number of awards in Sofia and Valencia.

FESTIVALS AND AWARD 2019 - Hungarian Film Awards - Best Documentary 2019 - Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival 2019 - Beijing International Film Festival 2018 - Sarajevo Film Festival 2018 - Sofia Soindependent Film Festival

THE TWO OF US (Ketten) 49 MIN, 2018

A WOMAN CAPTURED (Egy nő fogságban) 89 min, 2017

Director: György Dobray Main cast: Marci Szilvásy, Cili Janzsó Producers: György Dobray, Géza Détáry Production company: Titania Master Pro Kft. Festivals, sales:,

Director: Bernadett Tuza-Ritter Producers: Julianna Ugrin, Viki Réka Kiss Production company: Éclipse Film Festivals: Sales:

They live together but independently, they fight, they reconcile, they desire, they dream of having a baby, but most importantly they love. Like couples do. The only difference is that society labels them as being “mentally disabled”. Cili and Marci have Down syndrome.

A Woman Captured is about Marish, a 52-year-old Hungarian woman who has been serving the same family for a decade, working 20 hours a day — without getting paid. Her ID was taken from her by her oppressors and she is not allowed to leave the house without permission. Treated like an animal, she only gets leftovers to eat and no bed to sleep in. Marish spends her days with fear in her heart, but never lets go of her dream of getting her life back. The presence of the camera helps her realise she isn’t completely alone. She begins to show signs of trust; after 2 years of shooting, she musters up enough courage to reveal her plan: “I am going to escape.” The film follows Marish’s heroic journey back to freedom.

György Dobray was born in Budapest in 1942. He attended the Department of Cinematography and Film Academy in 1961, where he graduated in 1965. First he produced documentary, educational and literary films for Hungarian television before moving on to feature films at the Hungarian Film Production Company. He is currently working on documentary and TV films, as well as on a feature film. In 2010 he received the Balázs Béla Award. Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

FESTIVALS 2018 - Delhi Shorts International Film Festival 2018 - Dublin Independent Film Festival

Bernadett Tuza-Ritter is a Hungarian independent film director and editor who specialises in creative documentaries and fiction. She studied directing and editing at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest. Her first feature-length documentary, A Woman Captured, was the first Hungarian featurelength film to ever compete at Sundance. Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

SELECTED FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2018 - Sundance Film Festival, Salt Lake City 2018 - ZagrebDox 2018 - Hungarian Film Awards - Best Documentary 2017 - International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam NOMINATED FOR BEST EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY AWARD 2018 by the European Film Academy FEATURE DOCUMENTARY


CURTIZ 98 MIN, 2019

THE ACTRESS (A színésznő) 80 min, 2018

Director: Tamás Yvan Topolánszky Main cast: Ferenc Lengyel, Evelin Dobos, Declan Hannigan, Scott Alexander Young, József Gyabronka, Nikolett Barabás, Yan Feldman, Rafael Feldman, Christopher Krieg, Andrew Hefler, Lili Bordán Producer: Claudia Sümeghy Production companies: JUNO11 Pictures, Halluci-Nation Festivals, sales:

Director: László Vitézy Main cast: Viktória Szávai, Ildikó Tóth, Bálint Adorjáni, Csaba Pindroch Producer: Gábor Kálomista Production company: Megafilm Festivals, sales:

As America prepares to enter World War 2, the Hungarian film director Michael Curtiz grapples with political intervention and a dysfunctional relationship with his estranged daughter amid the troubled production of Casablanca in 1942. Tamás Yvan Topolánszky is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and media designer. He was born in 1987 in Männedorf, Switzerland, but grew up and began his studies in Budapest. In 2018 he shot his debut film CURTIZ, which won the Grand Prix at the Montreal World Film Festival.

FESTIVALS AND AWARD 2019 - South By Southwest Festival 2019 - Shanghai International Film Festival 2018 - Montreal World Film Festival - Best Feature Film



A beautiful and talented actress is Hungary’s most celebrated star. She is at the height of her career, and she is falling in love. But she must face the ruthless rules of the communist dictatorship, which she is not prepared to accept. Can she escape revenge? This film is based on actual events. After graduating from the Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest, László Vitézy founded the unique documentary-like style known as “Budapest School”. He has directed more than thirty feature films and documentaries and has won several awards. Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

FESTIVAL AND AWARDS 2019 - Hungarian Film Award - Best Actress in a Television Film: Viktória Szávai, Best Supporting Actress in a Television Film: Ildikó Tóth

WILD BALATON - ON THE SHORES OF THE ‘HUNGARIAN SEA’ (Vad Balaton) 60 min, 2018 Director: Szabolcs Mosonyi Producer: Erika Bagladi Production company: NatFilm Hungary Kft. Festivals: Sales:

Lake Balaton is the largest lake in central Europe. Although during the summer the coast is crowded with people in their holiday homes, the lake and its surroundings offer almost unbelievable natural treasures. The volcanoes, the lake caves, the travertine dams, the sand dunes and the valleys of canyons are all part of the European Geoparks Network, and the huge wetland habitats are unique in the whole of Europe. Ground squirrel and wildcat, peregrine falcon and raven, nesting herons and egrets, dancing asps, and edible dormouse that take off for night-time adventures. The unusual marriage of geology, wildlife and man create this dazzling landscape.

MIGNON 28 MIN, 2019 Directors: Kata Oláh, Sándor Csukás Main cast: Marika Haraszti, János Orsós Producers: Kata Oláh, Sándor Csukás Production company: Makabor studio Festivals, sales:

With her childlike soul, Marika lives to dance and dances to overcome her lost childhood. Over 80, she has an infant soul and a passionate existence: craving desserts, playing with her stuffed toys and dressing up like a pretty ballerina. But her enthusiasm and love for life hide deep and dark memories.

FESTIVALS AND AWARD 2019 - Budapest International Documentary Festival, Naked Shorts section - Main Prize 2019 - CinéDoc Tbilisi 2019 - Beldocs - Belgrade International Documentary Film Festival

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

FESTIVAL AND AWARDS 2019 - Hungarian Film Award - Best Educational Documentary, Best Cinematography in Educational Documentary





Director: Katalin Moldovai Main cast: Vera Venczel, Ildikó Tóth, Rozi Lovas, Andrea Söptei, Péter Fehérvári Producer: Budapest Metropolitan University Production company: Budapest Metropolitan University Festivals:, Sales:

Director: Balázs Simonyi Main cast: Lilla Sárosdi, Tara Kollárszky, Roland Kollárszky Producers: Gábor Osváth, Nóra Alföldi, Balázs Simonyi Production company: Filmfabriq Festivals, sales:

For Margaret who lives alone, unexpected and tragic news brings a positive change to her life. Doctors predict that she only has a few months left, but this incites her to start living again.

The anatomy of a terror attack – and its turning into an everyday banality.


2019 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival

2019 - Cannes Film Festival, Cinéfondation




CASTING 27 MIN, 2019

CHUCHOTAGE (Susotázs) 16 min, 2018

Director: Sándor Csoma Main cast: Kincső Blénesi, Gijs Naber, Levente Orbán, Katalin Vad-Horváth Producers: Mónika Mécs, Nóra Alföldi, Ernő Mesterházy, Zoltán Mártonffy, László Dreissiger, Dániel Deák, Miklós Bosnyák Production companies: Inforg - M&M Film, Filmfabriq Kft. Festivals: Sales:

Director: Barnabás Tóth Main cast: Pál Göttinger, Géza Takács, Andrea Osvárt Producers: Andrea Kuczkó, Gábor Rajna, Lajos Tóth Production companies: Csokonai Ksk., Laokoon Filmgroup Festivals: Sales:

18-year-old Julia lives in a poor mining town with her brother. One day she tries her luck at a model casting in the hope of starting a new life abroad. However, during the casting, it turns out that they are looking for porn actresses. Julia unexpectedly finds herself in a situation where her decency is endangered.

During a professional conference in Prague, two simultaneous interpreters in the Hungarian booth realise that only one person is listening to them.

FESTIVAL 2019 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival

SELECTED FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2019 - Hungarian Film Award - Best Screenplay Short Film 2018 - Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival - Best Comedy Short 2018 - Oscars - Shortlisted in Best Live Action Short Film category 2018 - Fisheye Film Festival, High Wycombe Best Short Film, Best Actor, Best Editor, Best Hair & Makeup Design, Best Production Design, Best Screenplay 2018 - Manhattan Short Film Festival - Silver Medal 2018 - Russian Indie Film Festival - Best Actor: Pál Göttinger 2018 - Alter-Native International Film Festival, Targu Mures - Grand Award 2018 - Kinofilm Festival - Manchester International Short Film Festival - Best Euro Short, Special Mention for Best Actor



EARWORM (Szabadok) 18 MIN, 2019

GOOD MORNING 16 min, 2019

Director: Szilárd Bernáth Main cast: Benett Vilmányi, Andrea Ladányi, László Fehér, Attila Kristán Producers: András Muhi, Gábor Ferenczy Production company: FocusFox Studio Festivals:,, Sales:

Director: Bence Miklauzic Main cast: Marina Gera Producers: András Muhi, Gábor Ferenczy Production company: Aladdin Festivals:,, Sales:

Antal is a member of the hated political police. During the revolution in Budapest of October 1956, he escapes the wrath of the people. When the Soviets launch an attack against Hungary on 4 November, Antal is determined to join them in order to get his revenge, but an old love song keeps ringing in his ears no matter how hard he tries to push it out…

An English-language exam that thousands try to pass every day. For her, a life depends on it.



THE MENTOR (A Mentor) 29 MIN, 2019

REBIRTH (Újjászületés) 12 MIN, 2019

Director: Szonja Szabó Main cast: Zsófia Psotta, Kristóf Gál, Márton Patkós (voice) Producers: Edina Kenesei, Ágnes Pataki Production company: Filmpartners Festivals and sales:

Director: Linda Dombrovszky Main cast: Martin Angerbauer, Veronika Varga, Zsolt Trill, Zoltán Cservák, Pál Mácsai, Balázs Szitás Producers: István Major, Borbála Mihályfy Production company: Filmteam Ltd. Festivals:,, Sales:

Sarah, a lonely teenager, joins an internet group that deals with teenagers’ emotional problems. Her mentor, who listens to all her troubles, gives Sarah tasks that she has to fulfil to become stronger. The mentor’s tasks get stranger and crueller.

The true story about a prisoner of the Siberian Gulag, whose hope shows that even during the cruelest suffering, we can stay human beings.

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

FESTIVAL 2019 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival



SUPERDAD (SzuperApu) 13 min, 2019

A SIEGE (Ostrom) 23 min, 2018

Director: András Petrik Main cast: Béla Mészáros, Szabolcs Thuróczy, Lili Barkóczi, Lajos Ottó Horváth Producers: Peter Roskó, Csaba Vékes, Ákos Schneider Production company: Blue Duck Arts Festivals:,, Sales:

Director: István Kovács Main cast: Vedrana Bozinovic, Mirela Lambic, Radoje Cupic, Nenad Pecinar, Zsolt Trill Producers: Mónika Mécs, Ernő Mesterházy, Nóra Alföldi, István Kovács Co-producers: Miklós Bosnyák, Tamás Hutlassa, Barnabás Hutlassa, Gábor Osváth Production companies: University of Theatre and Film Arts of Budapest, Inforg-M&M Film, Film Force Team, Filmfabriq Festivals, sales:

András is a 30-something careerist prosecutor. His new job is important for him, but his wife and daughter suffer the consequences. One day he receives his most important task yet: to follow and jot down every move that a well-known criminal makes before his arrest. Zsolt Denes is a well-connected entrepreneur criminal. He is aware of the date of his arrest and has a plan to spare his son from seeing it. When the day of the arrest arrives, András is surprised and learns an important lesson about being a father.

Sarajevo, 1994. A lonely woman in the war-torn city embarks on a journey to find water, and neither the neighbours nor sniper fire can do anything to stop her.

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.



Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund.

SELECTED FESTIVALS AND AWARDS 2019 - Hungarian Film Award - Best Short Film 2018 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival, Special Mention 2018 - American Film Academy, Bronze Student Oscar 2018 – Luxembourg CinEast, Audience Award for Best Short Film 2018 - BuSho Budapest Short Film Festival Best Hungarian Short Fiction Film

TWO LINES (Két csík) 32 MIN, 2019

BETTI (Betti) 5 min, 2018

Director: Balázs Dudás Main cast: Eliza Sodró, Benett Vilmányi Producers: Ági Pataki, Gábor Kovács, Balázs Dudás Production company: Fimpartners Festivals and sales:

Director: Zsuzsanna Ács Producer: Melinda Kiss Production company: Budapest Metropolitan University Festivals: Sales:

Liza is waiting in vain, as Gabor will not be coming home tonight. The following day Liza tells him the big news, but Gabor doesn’t react the way she was expecting him to. It could be a turning point in their relationship.

This film is about inner freedom. The thoughts of a female taxi driver come to life, telling a story about her attitude to life and two well-known taxi movements.


2019 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival

2019 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival




ENTROPIA 10 min, 2018

THE FALL OF ROME (Róma bukása) 23 min, 2018

Director: Flóra Anna Buda Producer: József Fülöp Production company: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest Festivals:,, kati. Sales:

Director: Balázs Turai Producers: Péter B. Lukács, Gábor Osváth, Drasko Ivezic Production companies: Boddah, Adriatic Animation Festivals, sales:

Entropia presents three parallel universes where three girls live in different circumstances. One of them represents the animalistic side of human nature, another is a consumer fulfilled with her own frustrations, and the third lives in a futuristic room where she has to keep running to keep the system functional. Suddenly a fly flies over the three universes and creates a bug in the system, meaning that they are able to move towards each other, meet and melt in a peaceful idyll while the whole universe collapses around them.

Under constant threat from the mutant frog-people, Carl and Cynthia desperately try to maintain a ‘normal’ life inside their post-apocalyptic Dome. Meanwhile, their children venture outside the safety zone and befriend the ever-lurking Enemy.

Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund

FESTIVALS AND AWARD 2019 - Berlin International Film Festival, Berlinale Shorts - Teddy Award for Best Short Film 2019 - Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2019 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival 2019 - Kyiv International Short Film Festival



Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

FESTIVALS 2018 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival 2018 - KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival 2018 – Ljubljana Animateka, International Animated Film Festival

JACQUES’ RAMPAGE OR WHEN DO WE LOSE OUR SELF-CONFIDENCE? (Jacques ámokfutása) 8 min, 2018 Director: Máté Horesnyi Producer: Melinda Kiss Production company: Budapest Metropolitan University Festivals: Sales:

THE LAST SUPPER (Az utolsó vacsora) 10 min, 2019 Director: Ferenc Rófusz Producers: Zsófia Hajdú, Ferenc Rófusz Production company: Rófuszfilm Kft. Festivals:,, orr. Sales:

This is a free composition movie that defines the real substance of day-to-day life by connecting scenes that are independent from one another. The essence of the work is in the relationship between these scenes; how the connection is achieved among the unintelligible features of the characters due to an influence that is above them – all this in a monochrome world based on Jacques Tati’s work.

“The idea of producing an animated rendition of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, one of the greatest treasures of our western culture that illustrates the most venerated saga, is to inspire sentiment towards this unequaled masterpiece. To make this painting-animation, I intended to bring the attention to the sad fact that is the unstoppable perishing of this fresco.”

Máté Horesnyi was born in Budapest in 1996 and graduated from the Budapest Metropolitan University in 2018.

Ferenc Rófusz was the recipient of the 1981 Oscar for his hogy milyen dijat kapott egy film film The Fly, which he made with background animation. He has received numerous awards for his unconventional film-series and animated commercials.

FESTIVALS 2019 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival 2019 - FilmFest Dresden

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.



MATCHES 11 min, 2019

NOT YET (Még nem) 10 min, 2018

Director: Géza M. Tóth Producer: Éva M. Tóth Production company: KEDD Animation Studio Festivals:,, Sales:

Director: Tímea Laura Varga Producer: József Fülöp Production company: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest Festivals:,, Sales:

A lonely boy, playing with colourful matchsticks, talks about his dreams, fears and hopes. The matchsticks bring his visions to life. The film is based on an interview with a 7 year old.

Everyone goes home from the playhouse. A child waits for her mother who does not show up, so starts looking for her. Over varied locations we see two fates, two lives, that may never cross each other.

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund.

FESTIVALS 2018 - Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2018 - Jameson CineFest Miskolc International Film Festival, CineNewWave section 2018 - Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films, Třeboň



SYMBIOSIS (Szimbiózis) 13 min, 2019

REMAKE 10 min, 2019

Director: Nadja Andrasev Producers: Emmanuel-Alain Raynal, Pierre Baussaron, József Fülöp, Orsolya Sipos Production companies: MIYU Productions, SALTO Films Festivals and sales:

Director: Béla Klingl Producers: Béla Klingl Production company: K.G.B. Stúdió Ltd. Festivals:,, Sales:

A betrayed wife starts to investigate her husband’s mistresses. Her jealousy is gradually replaced by curiosity.

The story is based on the complete cycle of human life in a closed space, condensed within just a few minutes. We see the protagonist’s life from beginning to end, from birth to old age, to death, and perhaps even further. Although the movie has just a single acting character, we see more characters who are actually our hero’s copies (older and younger), shifted in time.

FESTIVAL 2019 - Annecy International Animated Film Festival

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.



TAKE ME PLEASE 14 min, 2018

MR. MARE (Lidérc úr) 19min, 2019

Director: Olivér Hegyi Producer: József Fülöp Production company: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest Festivals:,, kati. Sales:

Director: Luca Tóth Producers: Péter Benjámin Lukács, Gábor Osváth, Ron Dyens Production companies: Boddah (HU), Sacrebleu (FR) Festivals, sales:

This movie presents a break-up and everything that follows: boy is hesitant, girl gets bored, boy meets girl’s new boyfriend - which is a bit more shocking than expected. Boy wants to escape, as he believes his life is over, but then boy meets girl again and they fall in love. But they eventually have to admit to each other that the relationship will not really work out.

While looking at an X-ray, a handsome young man is horrified to learn that the weird, tumour-like lump on his chest appears to be the top of a tiny plump man’s head. Nested in his body, ready to be born…

Supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund

Mr. Mare is a surreal animated chamber play set in a ‘haunted’ claustrophobic space in which we witness the dynamics of unrequited love as we follow the relationship of an oddly co-dependent pair.



2018 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival - Best Hungarian Animation 2018 - Animafest Zagreb - Special Mention 2018 - Primanima World Festival of First Animations, Budaörs - Grand Prix 2018 - Interfilm Berlin 2018 - BuSho Budapest Short Film Festival - Best Animation

2019 - Berlin International Film Festival, Berlinale Shorts - World premiere 2019 - Febiofest, Bratislava - Best International Short Film 2019 - Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival - Best Hungarian Animation



CANDIDE (Candide) 13 x 7 min, 2018

CASTAWAYS (Hajótöröttek) 13 x 7 min, 2018

Director: Zsuzsanna Kreif Voiceover artists: Gábor Máté, Adél Jordán, Zoltán Rajkai Producers: Károly Fehér, Brigitta Iványi-Bitter, Gábor Ferenczy, András Muhi, Réka Temple Production company: Popfilm Kft. Festivals: Sales:

Director: Péter Szeiler Producers: Gábor Osváth, Péter Csornay Production company: Filmfabriq Festivals, sales:

Devastating love, 2D blood, leper and hunt: Candide forever.

Castaways is a fun, 13-episode series of educational animated shorts about science, where each episode lasts 7 minutes. 10-year-old Kolos and his grandpa set out into the endless ocean to circumnavigate the Earth on their ship called Bella Donna. A violent storm suddenly descends on them as they sail across the Pacific, destroying their ship. With incredible luck, grandpa and grandson land on a deserted island. This is where the story of Castaways begins.

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

FESTIVALS 2016 - Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2018 - Anifilm

Supported by the Media Patronage Programme of the Hungarian Media Council.

FESTIVALS 2018 - Primanima World Festival of First Animations 2017 - KAFF Kecskemét Animation Film Festival




X – The Exploited crime/thriller 2018





Bad Poems drama/comedy

Tall Tales thriller/drama

Ruben Brandt Collector animation/thriller/adventure

His Master’s Voice drama/sci-fi

Curtiz biography/history

Trezor historical thriller

MEET US IN CANNES Riviera E16 HNFF World Sales:





Ágnes Havas (CEO), Csaba Bereczki (Eurimages Representative, International Director), Márta Bényei (Festival Manager), Csaba Papp (Public Relations),


Klaudia Androsovits (Sales Executive),


Tamara Nagy (Sales & Festival Manager), Published by the Hungarian National Film Fund Editors-in-Chief: Dániel Deák, Gábor Osváth Executive Editor: Anita Libor Project Coordinator: Veronika Jakab Contributors: Eszter Fazekas, András Huszár, Eszter Knopp, Bálint Kovács Art Director: Aywee Kőteleky / Mátai és Végh Kreatív Műhely Kft. Photographer: Gábor Valuska Proofreader: Laura Brown The Hungarian Film Magazine is published by the Hungarian National Film Fund. Published in Hungary in May 2019. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden save with the written permission of the publishers. Cover: Katalin Moldovai, the director of As Up To Now, and Julianna Ugrin, a participant of Producers on the Move. Photo: Gábor Valuska

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Hungarian Film - Cannes 2019  

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