BUDAPEST: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán named Hungarian-born film producer Andrew G. Vajna as the government commissioner for the film industry starting from 18 January 2011. Vajna will hold the position for one year, with the task of setting a strategy to increase the competitiveness of the Hungarian film industry.
Vajna stated that he would start his job by making a full analysis of the situation and structure of the Hungarian film industry. The appointment of the American producer suggests that the new government would like to transform the Hungarian film culture to a market oriented industry. The one-year appointment suggests that the government decision about the Hungarian Motion Picture Foundation (www.mmka.hu) could be postponed until the end of 2011. MMKA had been financing the Hungarian film industry for almost 20 years, until the new government cut its funding by 80% in 2011.
Vajna left Hungary after the 1956 revolution, at the age of 12. He is most famous for his productions in Hollywood, especially the Terminator and Rambo franchises. After 1989 he founded one of the first international distribution companies in Hungary, Intercom (www.intercom.hu), which is still the market leader in the country, holding about 40% of box office revenues in 2010 as the exclusive distributor of Warner Bros. Pictures, 20th Century Fox and New Line Cinema. Vajna was the producer of Children of Glory (directed by Krisztina Goda, distributed by Intercom), the big-budget Hungarian film made for the 50th anniversary of the revolution in 2006. Children of Glory sold more than 500,000 tickets in Hungary, making it the most successful national film in the cinemas since the millennium.