Hungarian Government Adopts Film Law Amendments

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$17.6 million in support for the film industry is allocated for 2012.

MOSCOW– Late on Monday the Hungarian parliament adopted amendments to the country’s film law, which ensure independent funding for the national film industry and make the Hungarian National Film Fund the main funding body of the country’s film sector.

“[The adoption of the amendments] solidifies the Hungarian National Film Fund’s position as the leading support system for Hungarian films,” Andrew G. Vajna, Government Commissioner for the Renewal of the National Film Industry, told The Hollywood Reporter over the phone. “We have come up with a way for independently financing the movies without being part of the government’s budget.”

The amended law allocates 80 percent of the No.6 national lottery revenues to the Film Fund for its operations, and the estimated budget for 2012 is to be around 4 billion Hungarian forints ($17.6 million). “It is more than we ever had,” Vajna said, adding that the cash is to be spent on development, production, marketing of full-length feature, animated and documentary films.

“Since the Hungarian market is a very small market, I don’t think you can break-even or make money from the Hungarian market alone,” he went on to say. “This [money] is to support producers who are making Hungarian films.”

According to Vajna, the amendments are also expected to facilitate co-productions.

Meanwhile, the amended law stipulates a greater role for the Film Office, un agency placed under the National Media and Communications Authority, in supervising the financial side of film production.

“We are going to be following the productions very closely,” Vajna said. “We are going to be supervising by double-checking their progress and further supervising them that by having an accounting system that is a see-through situation where we know exactly how the budget is being spent.”

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