Andy Vajna Unveils New Hungarian Film Fund

New fund to back up to 10 productions a year.

COLOGNE, Germany – Hungarian-born Hollywood producer Andrew Vajna has revealed his makeover of the Hungarian film industry, unveiling a new national film fund that will provide funding for up to 10 local productions per year.

Vajna, who took over as Hungary's film commissioner in January, will head up the Hungarian National Film Fund (MNFA), which will provide subsidies for the production and marketing of local titles. A five-member panel of experts, yet to be named, will decide which projects to back. The panel will begin reading scripts at the end of next month. Hungary's 20% tax rebate remains in place.

The fund replaces the old funding body, the Hungarian Motion Picture Public Foundation (MMKA), which the Budapest government will shut down May 31.

The new fund will finance individual projects with up to $840,000 (150 million Hungarian Forints) each, or up to half their budget. The new system has a provision for bankrolling up to 90% of a film's budget if producers share revenues with the MNFA.

MNFA's budget for 2011 is $11.2 million but part of that is earmarked to pay off debts piled up the old film body. Even that level of funding is barely a third of what the MMKA used to dole out annually.

Vajna said he expected the new fund could back three or four feature films this year and between 8-10 annually starting in 2012.