Annual Report 2019
NATIONAL FILM INSTITUTE - FILM ARCHIVE
The first Hungarian film archive was established in 1957, 56 years after the debut of the first Hungarian film, A táncz (The Dance). By the time the archive was founded, nearly 50% of films produced throughout the history of Hungarian filmmaking had been destroyed. In 1957, it was no exaggeration to say that the chances for the survival of Hungarian film were in their final hour. Sixty years later, in 2017, when the Hungarian National Film Fund – predecessor of the National Film Institute – undertook the operation of the Hungarian National Film Archive, and received authorization for this from the Government of Hungary, once again it was no exaggerating to state that we were in the final hour of guaranteeing the survival of the Hungarian film heritage. We accepted this challenge when we launched the comprehensive development programme of the outdated Film Archive struggling with a 30-year developmental backwardness. The Film Archive and its collection, that is, the treasury of Hungarian films, received a new opportunity when – for the first time in its history – it came under the direction of a professional film institute, which understood the significance of its mission and its requirements arising in the interest of carrying out its tasks. As a consequence, the operational and technological modernization of Hungary’s only, and Central Europe’s largest film collection is currently underway. As a result of our commitment and our joint efforts with other directorates, year by year we have taken significant steps towards further rescuing the Hungarian film heritage for posterity. Since 2017, within the framework of the National Film Digitization and Film Restoration Programme implemented jointly with Hungarian Filmlab, 88 feature films were fully restored by the end of 2019. This is a remarkable achievement even at a European level. We were proud to present these films at the largest festivals in the world and we screened them for Hungarian audiences across the entire Carpathian Basin throughout the year. Furthermore, we showed 50 restored Hungarian films and more than 20 Hungarian-related foreign films at our film festival, the Budapest Classics Film Marathon. Programmes were attended by nearly 17,000 people and those who were there for the open-air screening of the film about the 1986 concert of Queen in Budapest will never forget the moment when the heavens opened, but the 2,000 spectators remained and watched all the way through to the end of the movie despite the huge downpour. After all, an audience needs a film and a film needs an audience! We believed in this when we were tasked in 2017 with bringing to life an international festival of film classics in Budapest, which would find its way onto the festival map of the world. We achieved this in just three years. Today, the most prestigious film institutes and film distributors from all over the world propose restored films and professional lectures for the Marathon programme. For the first time in fifteen years, the Film Archive has once again become an active partner in the international professional community of film preservation. In recognition of this activity, we have been awarded the right to organize the international congress of film archives and film institutes in Budapest in 2022. The year 2020 has opened up further, even broader spectrums of synergies and shared successes for all of us within the National Film Institute. To quote Béla Balázs: “Tomorrow always starts today.” György Ráduly Director National Film Institute – Film Archive
Film and Digital Restoration Within the National Digital Film Program and Film Restoration Program’s scope, The Film Archive and Filmlab have been able to coordinate their work and have together since saved and restored 88 historical film classics which have been renewed and preserved for generations to come. In 2019, 33 feature films and 25 short films were fully restored, including those of Zoltán Huszárik and and the BBS’ short films.
our collections The Hungarian Film Archive’s goal is to contribute to Hungarian film culture by collecting, preserving, and archiving material, as well as written documents from both Hungarian and universal film culture. The film collection is the main part of the Film Archive’s collection. There is a non-film collection as well, mainly photo- film poster and documentation collection. Also, the Archive holds the only film-related research library in the country. FILM COLLECTION BY THE NUMBERS 300 000 FILMS (240 000 35MM), 72 000 REELS, 10 000 NITRATE FILMS
SPECIAL COLLECTION BY THE NUMBERS 500 000 PHOTOS, 26 000 FILM POSTERS, 300 FILMS’ SETS AND COSTUME DESIGNS
PHOTO COLLECTION In 2019, the photo archive collection was extended by behind the scenes images and stills from 533 film productions. Despite the renovation, and the necessary move, the collection was in service for the whole time. Many magazines, books, news programmes, exhibitions, and websites have ordered photographs from us for their film-related materials. Most recently, our photo archive collection has received a valuable photo album, which was made by Warner Bros Studio specifically for Michael Curtiz (Mihály Kertész). It was gifted to us by Linda Goldfarb, the director’s grandniece, who lives in California.
THE PHOTO ALBUM OF MICHAEL CURTIZ
Upon the request from Filmarchiv Austria, the photo archive agreed to share its collection for an exhibition that was held at Metro Kinokulturhaus in Vienna
FILM POSTER LIBRARY During last year, the Film Archive has received 221 film posters, and – partly overlapping the extension of the photo collection – we have received digital files from 25 productions. Similarly to previous years, in 2019, we supported many exhibitions, events and publications by providing digital copies of the posters stored in our archive. Among the many partnerships that we have created, the one that stands out the most is the one that we have with the Gizi Bajor Actor Museum – where we had lent an ample collection of film posters for the Miklós Gábor and Ferenc Bessenyei exhibition. As part of the exhibit, there is a separate wing which showcases their filmography. FILM POSTER FROM 1964
Our Collections REFERENCE LIBRARY AND PAPER ARCHIVES The reference library and paper archives of the Film Archive are among the most significant collections on film science in Hungary. While in previous years, the library’s main focus was on collecting and preserving documents, currently, the focus is on sorting and analyzing the holdings of the library, along with creating electronic registers; exploring and creating stocks of long neglected parts of our holdings. In recent years, we put great emphasis on launching a research area which met 21st century requirements. A place where, aside from researching, one can also find what they are looking for. The first fundamental step towards this aim in the retrospective is processing work. The renovation of the Film Archive’s main building gave a boost to the organization, assortment and the unification of the fragmented paper-based collection. REFERENCE LIBRARY AND PAPER ARCHIVES BY THE NUMBERS 21805 BOOKS
572 PERIODICALS IN 3000 VOLUMES
4561 FILM SCRIPTS
In addition to classic library work, the staff carry out many types of activities that range from assorting and organizing materials, creating indexes, to supporting the film distribution team’s activities. The library team also helps to compile material for articles published on various platforms. Besides such research, the crew also help process bequests and gifts. In 2019, the processing of book bequests also continued (including collections that came to us in previous years). This means comparing and sorting approximately 2,500 books received from Péter Ábel and Péter Székely, along with indexing and organising of press and bequest materials received several years ago from Pál Zolnay, Sándor Sára, István Szabó, Márton Keleti. In 2019, the reference library provisionally took over the Mária Szepes Foundation’s bequest material of Mrs. Béla Balogh, Margit Kornai producer /line producer’s work, in order to process and digitalise it. Also this year, several private collections were gifted to the Reference library. That is how we got hold of Márta Eggerth collection which was given to us by the private collector Werner Mohr, Miklós Kőniger’s sound film actors of Hungarian origin collection, and Orsolya Székely film director’s press material and oeuvre awards.
STOCK EXTENSION IN 2019:
239 125 468
BOOKS FILM SCRIPTS FEATURE FILM FOLDERS
In early September 2019, we received about 700 or 800 literary and technical scripts, synopses, treatments, dialogue lists, and the background materials of unmade films from the Hunnia Filmstudio’s collection starting from the 1970s all the way to the 2000s. Comparing this vital material with the existing script collection is still underway, and we plan to complete this task in 2020.
RECENTLY OBTAINED BEQUESTS In 2019, 13 new unique collections were bequested to the Film Archive that were received and indexed by collection department’s archivists. Among these collections, we received a collection of amateur films made by one of the greatest Hungarian screen actors, Antal Páger. These are family films mainly shot in the first half of the 1940s, while the other part was shot during his exile in Argentina. We also received Miklós Gábor’s, the actor’s, film-related book collection, the correspondence of Frigyes Bán; and his cadre documents from the film studio. We also got hold of documents from the leading bodies of the film industry from the Rákosi period until the end of the 1960s. Not to mention the complete collection of the Katapult Film’s production materials and documentations. Last but not least, Attila Szilágyi’s outstanding film-related personal collection also grew comprising of thousands of books, film projectors, cameras and assorted printed materials. In December, Andy Vajna's oeuvre was bequeathed and added to our collection in its entirety for future preservation. Members of the Film Archive were present at many events in 2019. The Film Archive’s work was brought closer for a wider audience by guided tours, a cinema history exhibition, rarely seen photos, and hands-on workshops for children. This was the third time; the Film Archive could join the Valley of the Arts festival with their interactive programs and set up their place at the local castle in Kapolcs. This year, the Archive also received a booth at the Filmtettfeszt, the Transylvanian Hungarian Film Week in Cluj-Napoca. Next to their activity programs, the festival also featured a film presented by our staff upon the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, the film called The Death of the Earth (1933) which was also restored by us. REEARCHERS ON THE 3RD BUDAPEST CLASSICS FILM MARATHON During the lectures series at the 3rd Budapest Classics Film Marathon our researchers also presented their findings. Márton Kurutz gave a lecture about the relationship between music and film, Galina Torma spoke about her research of 100 year-old Hungarian newsreels, while Evin Hussein gave a lecture about the first female producer in Hungary, Margit Kornai (Mrs. Béla Balogh). The aforementioned lecture was presented in Amsterdam, at the EYE Film Museum while the research was invited to be showcased at Columbia University under the auspices of the Women Film Pioneers Project. The lectures are available by clicking on: http://filmarchiv.hu/hu/filmmaraton/2019/info/videok
THE 100-YEAR OLD NEWSREELS SERIES This newsreel series covering the years 1918-19, is the first collection of films in the history of Hungarian newsreels, where an almost year-long material has survived in its entirety. Researching the background of certain newsreels was the basis of our series called 100-year old Newsreels. From August 2018 until November 2019, 38 episodes were made with added narration to explain what exactly went down on a particular week a hundred years ago. The series has become a great success. The late January episode generated the largest number of viewers (250,000) where we showed Endre Ady’s, the poet’s, funeral. It included previously known as well as recently found shots. This episode shows the difference between the amount of details on the darkened positive copy and the recently digitized camera negative. The total number of viewers for the series in its entirety is more than 480,000 and it continues to grow.
Domestic Film Licensing Results The Film Archiveâ€™s management has its own licensing department which was launched in the 1960s. This department represents the complete national film heritage in both the domestic and international markets. Films are requested by documentary filmmakers to use them as archive material; by television producers to use them in their various cultural programs; by special events; and by film festivals. Classic films also appear in domestic and international cinemas, and certain titles can still be purchased on DVD.
Classic film licensing in 2019 by the numbers: 700 domestic screenings of classic films 180 domestic screening venues More than 50 000 viewers DOMESTIC FILM EXCERPTS SERVICE In 2019, 4 feature films, 23 documentaries and 4 portrait films produced by the MMA Publishing House featured archive film excerpts from the Film Archive collection. Film excerpts also regularly appear in television programs. During those years, the Archive made more than 150 licensing agreements in Hungary for film excerpts with various partners.
DVD PUBLICATIONS During this year, several film classics were published by the Film Archive. In February: The Lost Talisman, in June: Gems of Hungarian Animation, in July: Bowler Hat and Red Nose, in December: Hi, Junior!
DVD PRESENTATION AT THE 14TH KAFF In addition, Gems of Hungarian Animation contains 48 digitally remastered Hungarian animated short films. This is a long-sought after collection that makes it possible for the general public to enjoy this selection of rare animated films.
International sales results Hungarian classic films in the world In 2019, our professional goal was achieved: we attended the classics section of the largest A-list film festivals with newly restored Hungarian films.
WE SCREENED 64 FILMS AT 44 FESTIVALS IN 25 COUNTRIES During this year, the largest number of screenings was achieved by the uncensored version of Péter Bacsó’s The Witness. The second most popular film was Márta Mészáros’ Adoption. The creation of catalogues, press releases, additional contents also helped the sale and the international marketing of Hungarian classic films. In 2019, Márta Mészáros’ oeuvre came into focus. This was the first year, that international audiences could see her films in a completely restored version. The international press also featured news about Hungarian films, thanks to Variety and Cineuropa, which helped raise the interest in Hungarian cinema.
featured festival screenings: 69th Berlin International Film Festival MÁRTA MÉSZÁROS - ADOPTION
The 72nd Cannes Film Festival PÉTER BACSÓ – THE WITNESS
Annecy International Animation Film Festival MARCELL JANKOVICS - JOHNNY CORNCOB BÉLA TERNOVSZKY – CAT CITY
76th Venice International Film Festival ISTVÁN GAÁL - CURRENT
MÁRTA MÉSZÁROS AT THE 69TH BERLINALE
11th Grand Lyon Film Festival MÁRTA MÉSZÁROS – THE TWO OF THEM, ZOLTÁN FÁBRI - THE FIFTH SEAL
Besides festival screenings, Hungarian film classics were also presented at embassies, retrospective screenings, and they were also screened in local cinemas. 54 EMBASSIES HAD SCREENED A TOTAL OF 110 HUNGARIAN FILM CLASSICS
International Sales Results Hungarian classic films in the world Throughout the year, we distributed the restored Hungarian films to Hungarians across the border in Romania, Slovakia and Vojvodina with the help of our festival, film distribution and television partners. Our key partners: Filmtett, Pannon Television, Vojvodina Radio and Television and cross-border film clubs. The American Art-house distributor, Kino Lorber had enabled a theatrical run for Ildikó Enyedi’s debut feature, My Twentieth Century in the US. Kino Lorber also purchased the distribution rights for ten restored Hungarian film classics. In 2020, they will screen a 4K restored version of three films made by István Szabó. US cinemagoers will now be able to see the Oscar nominated Confidence (1979), the Oscar winning Mephisto (1981) and Colonel Redl (1984). Also recently restored in a partnership with the Los Angeles-based Arbelos Films, is Marcell Jankovics’ psychedelic animation feature, Son of the White Mare which has received a lot of attention as the film has been recently rediscovered both in America and in Europe. In France, preparations are in order for the distribution of Márta Mészáros’ restored films. Among the VOD releases, it is also worth mentioning Márta Mészáros’ Adoption, which is now being featured on MUBI’s platform worldwide.
22ND SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Agreements with foreign partners: 170 Total number of international screenings: more than 300 INDUSTRY EVENTS In 2019, The Film Archive participated in a great number of events: the European Film Market in Berlin, the Cannes Film Market and the MIFC in Lyon which focuses on classic films; the Paris-based Annual Conference held by FIAF (International Federation of Film Archives); the 4th FIAF’s Programming Winter School that focuses on positioning and distributing classic films. Representing the Hungarian Film Archive’s management, Director György Ráduly was selected into the FIAF’s Executive Committee in 2019.
FIAF’S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
A major diplomatic success is that the 2022 congress for FIAF will be held in Budapest, and organized by the Film Archive’s management, thereby organizing the most important international professional forum.
3rd Budapest Classics Film Marathon This is the third time the Film Archive had organized the Budapest Classics Film Marathon. The festival’s program revolved around the relationship between film and music. Besides Budapest, the 8 day-long international festival screening classic films traveled to Eger and Győr to much success. Just like in the previous years, the chief supporter of the festival in 2019 was the Municipality of Budapest. MORE THAN A 100 FILMS WITHIN 8 DAYS 17 000 VIEWERS MORE THAN A 300 APPEARANCES IN THE MEDIA
OUR SPECIALS GUESTS IN 2019: Guests of the festival in 2019: István Szabó, Marcell Jankovics, Márta Mészáros, Elemér Ragályi (HSC), Lajos Koltai (HSC), Feró Nagy, Ferenc Sebő, György Szomjas, Mihály Víg, Tamás Andor (HSC), Gábor Szabó (HSC) Special guests in 2019: Pierre Richard, Michael Nyman, Udo Kier, Magda Vásáryová, Johanna ter Steege, Katinka Faragó, Veronika Varga
MAGDA VÁSÁRYOVÁ, MARCELL JANKOVICS, FERÓ NAGY, PIERRE RICHARD, LAJOS KOLTAI, JOHANNA TER STEEGE, ISTVÁN SZABÓ
3rd Budapest Classics Film Marathon The festival had several venues: Toldi Cinema, Puskin Cinema, Uránia National Film Theatre, the French Institute in Budapest, and for five days, the St. Stephen's Square gave place for our open-air screenings.
OPEN-AIR SCREENINGS ON THE ST. STEPHEN'S SQUARE Evita (Alan Parker) Son of the White Mare (Marcell Jankovics) Queen - Hungarian Rhapsody: Live in Budapest 1986 (János Zsombolyai) Stephen, the King (Gábor Koltai) The Tall Blonde Man with One Black Shoe (Yves Robert) – in the presence of Pierre Richard Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov)
PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMME ON FILM PRESERVATION More than 20 lectures about film preservation and film restoration With the participation of film professionals from 40 film institutes from all over the world 3 days of workshops and lectures 4 cinematic concerts (silent movies accompanied by an orchestra) Our partner institutions: BFI, CNC, Cannes Classics, Cineteca di Bologna, Cinemathéque Francaise, Cinemathéque de Nice, Cinemathéque de Toulouse, Czech Film Archive, Deutsche Kinemathek, Deutsche Fim Institute, Danish Film Institute, EYE Filmmuseum, FIAF, Filmarchiv Austria, Filmmuseum Austria, Int. Classic Film Market – Lyon, Irish Film Institute, Int. Film Festival LaRochelle, Polish Film Institute and Film Archive, Lobster Film, Mosfilm, Slovak Film Institute, Slovenian Film Institute
Online activities The Film Archive shares information on various websites: this includes current and upcoming events, special programmes, and updates about our collection. All news regarding the Film Archive can be accessed on the filmarchiv.hu.website.
ONLINE FILM DATABASE
Our latest addition is the site called, alapfilmek.hu, an informative page about the outstanding works of Hungarian cinema. Here, you can find photos, 319 entries, and videos. Since August 2019, all information about the Budapest Classics Film Marathon can be accessed on the subpage, filmmaraton.hu.
2019 ONLINE PRESENCE BY THE NUMBERS: 172 NEW ARTICLES ON THE INSTITUTE’S HOMEPAGE 260 ENTRIES ON ALAPFILMEK.HU 250 ARTICLES ON FILMMARATON.HU 618 000 VIEWS ON THE FILM ARCHIVE’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL 441 000 VIEWS ON THE FILM ARCHIVE’S VIMEO CHANNEL
Besides the home pages, news about the Film Archive was also made available on various social media platforms. Thanks to its active presence on Facebook, the number of followers has risen to 9200 this year.
The renovation of our building The renovation of the Film Archiveâ€™s headquarters began in 2019, and it will last until 2020. The renovation will enable the institution to operate with modern vaults, research facilities and workstations. For the time since the entire renovation, the work of the Film Archive is not interrupted, thus staff often carry out their work at temporary workstations.
RENOVATED SPACES IN THE FIRST PHASE: OFFICE, DINING ROOM, HALL
April 2019 marked the handover of the first newly renovated areas of the Film Archive, namely the reception, the vestibule, the workstations, and the renovated plumbing unit, a new conference room, research rooms, and a client room for the deposit copy service. In addition, the new and advanced HVAC systems have been set up for the storage facilities that hold the deposit copies. The HVAC system ensures the environmental conditions according to the ISO standards for magnetic tapes.
IN THE FIRST PHASE A 1035 SQUARE METER (11140 SQUARE FEET) SPACE WAS RENOVATED
The second phase started in May, 2019 for the office spaces, the renovation of plumbing units, the upgrade of the air conditioning system to an up-to-date HVAC system, and also the ex post insulation of the film storage room. During that time, the legacy basement mechanical engineering was eliminated, digitization capacity was replaced and a Machine Equipment Room (MER) was built to operate the IT equipment which was procured from the Public Collection Digitization Strategy (KDS) resource. The setup of clean rooms for handling films on the ground floor also took place, with regards to health and safety aspects which were also taken into account. Along with that, there we had set up a sound insulated Oral history room with a control room for video- and audio recording. During the electrical design of the building, special care was taken to establish a LAN and optical network between the MER and the workstations.
During the second phase of the renovation of the main building, the 1247 square meter (13423 square feet) storage facility for our collection was also renovated. In order to ensure long term preservation, the Archive had acquired high-quality TESTO temperature and humidity data acquisition monitors, as well as a TROTEC industrial dehumidifier to stabilize humidity in lower priority vaults. The temperature and humidity datas are analyzed by the Image Permanence Institute's "eclimate notebook" service. STORAGE ACTIVITY BY THE NUMBERS:
ITEMS (PIECE) REELS (PIECE) WEIGHT (KG) 5872
The first six months of 2019 were defined by the preparations for the handover of the working area, and that is why it was necessary to ensure the temporary relocation of certain contingents of our collection. Aside from that, the institute was constantly in service. The Archive lent films to foreign borrowers 44 times: 66 films were loaned, and 9 films were loaned on 35 mm.
Technical developments The Film Archive is renewing its digitizing and technical apparatus which was planned in the framework of the Collection Digitization Strategy (KDS) programme. From May 2019 we have a new, sprocketless film scanner equipped with archival film gates, automatic film diagnostic system, a SAN storage system with 960 TB raw capacity, along with a LTO tape robotic feeder system.
FILM SCANNER EQUIPPED WITH ARCHIVAL FILM GATES, SAN STORAGE SYSTEM
In November 2019, the Film Archive Management made a proposal for a modern amendment to the deposit copy regulation. From December, 2019 the implementation of the workflows based on open sources software FFMPEG (FFV1), designed in 2017, was launched. According to that, the Film Archive management emphasizes the use of open source software and formats as well as introducing these in institutional work.
We would like to express our thanksÂ to the entire staff of the National Film Institute, to our supporters, partners, and everyone who loves Hungarian films.