Linda Potyondi was managing an art house cinema in the the town of Pecs until 2006, when she became distribution and press manager at Cirko Film, which grew a distribution company out of its own art house business.
Founded in 1993 as a public non-profit organization Maskepp Foundation (it distributes films as Cirko Film) was running an alternate cinema in Budapest especially for art films which couldn't be shown elsewhere, Linda Potyondi notes.
"The Foundation soon realized that it's also necessary to distributing films to keep a variety of programs in the cinema. The mandate of the foundation states that we distribute films on the topic of disadvantaged social groups, national and ethnic minorities (immigrants, gypsies, homosexuals), but after years and because of the growing number of the distributed films our scale became wider," Potyondi adds.
The most successful titles in the last two years include Persepolis (France), the En La Cama (Chile), After the Wedding (Denmark), and 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days (Romania). One of their biggest surprises was the Danish film Adam's Apples which was screened in Budapest at the European Film Week. The all time favorite has been the Italian film Il Bagno Turco, which was distributed twice; the rights expired while audiences were still demanding to see the movis. Cirko Film bought the rights a second time.
Until 2006 Cirko Film distributed 6-8 titles a year, but since then there's a big increase. In 2008 a new premiere is planned for almost every week. As an independent distributor, Cirko Film has no binding contracts with international sales companies.
The company now runs two cinemas in Hungary, both recently renovated. Plans for the future include cutting back on the number of releases, but focusing on bigger art house titles, and continued organization of festivals and film weeks.