Hungarian National Film Fund (MNF, www.filmalap.hu) discussed its first
experiences with film professionals on an open debate in Budapest, on 13th
December 2011. The new support body, that took the duties of the Hungarian
Motion Picture Foundation (www.mmka.hu, being
under closure for half a year), made its call for grants at the end of
According to Andrew G. Vajna producer,
government commissioner for the film industry and Ágnes Havas, CEO of the MNF,
most of the scripts sent to the MNF were disappointing. Vajna was abroad at the
time of the event, but he connected via Skype and said that they received some
strong stories but almost all of them were underdeveloped and they haven’t met
with really convincing projects yet.
Vajna and Havas stated several times in the
media that the new Hungarian support system will emphasize much more the
scripts and the script-development process than the previous system did. They
are looking for films that would draw back the audience to the cinemas for the
Hungarian movies and films that would win international recognition at
festivals. The MNF accepts applications continuously, according to one of the
script doctors they have read 60 screenplays already. The MNF has only
supported the development of Kornél Mundruczó’s The Flying Man, but haven’t
given away any money to production yet.
Ágnes Havas replied to the concerns that arose
in the last few weeks about the MNF’s right for the final cut. Directors
protested against the plan that MNF would have the right to alter the editing
of the supported projects, Havas stated that the Fund will only have this right
if they are financing at least 50% of the film, or if the film receives more
than 150 million HUF (500.000 EUR) from them. László Kántor producer, member of
the board of the European Film Academy proposed the decision makers of the MNF
to make the Hungarian system more compatible with the European support systems.
One of Kántor’s projects has won noted scriptwriting contests and was very well
regarded at festivals and pitching forums, but the MNF found it unworthy to
support. At the end of the debate Havas asked for patience and trust from the
film professionals and she stated that they will polish the support system
according to the requests of the film industry.