Hungarian Film Week Called Off


MOSCOW – The Hungarian Filmmakers' Association won’t organize the annual Film Week this year, while the Hungarian National Film Fund considers a new industry showcase event.

The association has sent out a rant-like email statement, signed by its head Béla Tarr, which announced that there will be no Hungarian Film Week this year but “an extraordinary and public General Assembly Meeting” is to be held at Budapest’s Urania film theater on Feb. 2, the date the event would have normally been launched.

“Believe me, we would rather organize the traditional February film week, we would rather screen films, we would rather talk about them and we would rather appreciate and honor quality achievements,” reads the statement. “[But] there is nothing to screen! There is nothing to celebrate!”

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The Hungarian Film Week, which survived 43 editions, faced problems two years ago when Hungary’s film funding system underwent major changes. The event was originally canceled and then held three months later in a reduced form. Last year, it returned to its regular slot, one week before the Berlin International Film Festival.

Until 2011, the Hungarian Film Week was organized by the Hungarian Filmmakers’ Association and mainly financed by the now defunct Hungarian Motion Picture Public Foundation (MMKA).

The Hungarian Filmmakers' Association would not respond to The Hollywood Reporter’s request to comment on the situation or clarify the statement.

Meanwhile, Andrew G. Vajna, head of the Hungarian National Film Fund, which replaced MMKA as the country’s main film financing agency, said that the organization is considering a new national film event.

“We are considering different kinds of proposals,” he said over the phone. “We will decide this year how to best go forward in the future. It could be a Hungarian film festival, [or] it could be an international film festival, in which Hungarian films would have a section. We are considering various proposals to see how to give it the most prominent visibility. ”

He added that a new Hungarian film event could be held already this year.

Vajna also criticized Tarr. “All he does is write letters to newspapers instead of trying to do something to help this business,” he said.

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