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MOSCOW – The situation in the Hungarian film industry, which is facing substantial cuts in funding this year, may begin to look up as Hungarian-born U.S. film producer Andrew Vajna has been appointed the government commissioner for the film industry.
Vajna’s job is to “renew the country’s film profession,” the State Secretariat for Government Communications at the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration said, the Hungarian daily Magyar Tavirati Iroda (MTI) reported.
Hungary’s film industry entered a period of uncertainty last December when the government said it was cutting the budget of the Motion Picture Public Foundation, which had administered film funding for the last few years, from 6 billion forint ($29 million) in 2010 to just 1 billion forint ($4.8 million) in 2011. Although another 2 billion forint ($9.6 million) is to be administered through the ministry of the economy this year.
And in a situation of austerity measures, the new commissioner’s experience could prove vital for the industry. Vajna, who left the country after the 1956 revolution at age 12, made a name for himself as the producer of the Terminator and Rambo franchises. He is also the founder of Intercom, one of Hungary’s first international distribution companies, and the producer of the high-profile Hungarian movie Children of Glory.
In his new position, Vajna is to come up with a strategy for state funding of the film industry, as well as to assess, analyze and evaluate the legal, economic and institutional aspects of the industry and to develop a plan for efficient management of state-owned film studios and filmmaking infrastructure.
“The task in the coming weeks will be to assess and evaluate, to the smallest detail, the situation and structure of the Hungarian film industry at present,” Vajna was quoted as saying by MTI.
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