05-02-2008

39th Hungarian Film Week opens (Jan. 30)

Prizes, tributes, accolades
39th Filmweek opens
January 30. 2008. 14:36; item
Instead of an opening movie, indie rock band Hollywoodoo entertained the filmmakers present at the opening ceremony of the 39th Filmweek in the Millenáris Theatre, where the most significant industry prizes, such as the Árvai Jolán prize, the lifetime achievement awards of the Filmweek and the Master of Hungarian Motion Picture prize were handed out.

Instead of an opening movie, indie rock band Hollywoodoo entertained the filmmakers present at the opening ceremony of the 39th Filmweek in the Millenáris Theatre, where the most significant industry prizes, such as the Árvai Jolán prize, the lifetime achievement awards of the Filmweek and the Master of Hungarian Motion Picture prize were handed out.

As Ferenc Grunwalsky, President of the Motion Picture Public Fund of Hungary (MMK) put it in his opening speech, evaluation of a year can never be exact. "The industry is in a flux; culture works better at times and not so well at other times." With an evaluation, though, one has to wait for the Filmweek; any praise or criticism can only be valid based on what's there. MMK have been looking for solutions for the current situation since September, and negotiations are underway. A momentous pillar of this process is the first Screenwriting Day held during the Filmweek this Friday. Grunwalsky encouraged everyone to attend the programmes of the event.

Ferenc Grunwalsky, President of the Motion Picture Public Fund of Hungary

Meanwhile, the European Union is looking into the funding system of the Hungarian film law. In the current state of talks Brussels won't accept the system of the 20% tax break. "The Hungarian film industry, however, cannot remain unprotected. There are limits", closed his speech Grunwalsky.

Under-secretary Károly Manhertz celebrated film; the 335 Hungarian productions completed last year and the 25 co-productions made with Hungarian involvement. He emphasized the economic effects of the film law by pointing out that every forint spent on Hungarian films from state funds attracted 5 forint from private sources. Total audience of Hungarian films was one million four hundred thousand, which, according to the under secretary, is not that bad.

President of the Filmweek Council Gábor Herendi complained that there is no building in Budapest to properly host an event like the Filmweek. On the other hand, the new cultural centre to be built in the Közraktár region in Pest might provide a solution for this problem, he added. Herendi introduced the Golden Reel prize, the original of which is to be awarded to the makers of the best film. A miniature version of the statue will be handed to all prize winning filmmakers. Genre films this year will get a separate prize called Moziverzum (Movieverse) Award, instead of last year's system where the main prize was divided between genre and arthouse flicks. Viewers can let their voices heard too; continuing the tradition, szemle.film.hu will host the vote online for the best film. The audience award will also be presented at the closing ceremony.

During the processing of entries the Council decided to create a new category for creative documentaries, that hybrid genre mixing fiction with docu elements. These films get a special emphasis, and will be screened to the press and foreign critics. Herendi hopes that with all prizes kept secret right until the closing ceremony, the latter will attract special attention.

President of the Filmweek Council Gábor Herendi

Representing the Hungarian Director's Guild Mari Sós and György Molnár handed over the Árvai Jolán prize. Nominated this year for the prize for craftsmen doing non-artistic work were lighting designer Imre Tréfás, festival organizer Ákos Csermely, film editor Zoltán Petovszky and chief organizer Zoltán Erdei.The Árvai Jolán prize went to special effects artist Ferenc Ormos, whose motto is "only spend money in a film for what you can actually see on the screen".

Lifetime achievement awards this year were handed to DoP István Hildebrand, actress Eva Schubert and photographer Magda B. Müller.

This year the Masters of Hungarian Motion Picture are filmmakers Líviusz Gyulai and Ferenc Kósa. The awards were sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Motion Picture Public Fund of Hungary.

A total of 387 films will be screened at this year's Filmweek. In competition are 103 films altogether, of which 18 are features, 33 are docus, 3 are creative documentaries, 36 are experimental and/or short films and 13 are science and nature films.

Line-up of the international jury has changed, as Maia Morgenstern was replaced by FIPRESCI president Klaus Eder and a new member, Catherine Portuges, professor of comparative literary sciences, director of the programme called integrated film art studies and curator of the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival was added. Director of Magyar Filmunió, the organization in charge of foreign guests, Éva Vezér said that there are 120 accredited foreign guests, among them festival curators (like those representing most of the A-list festivals) and reporters of the most acclaimed magazines and dailies.
Last modified on 18-07-2008