BUDAPEST: The Hungarian
Parliament has approved a new Hungarian Film Law which will pump 4
bln HUF (cca. 13 m EUR) into the national film industry. Under the
new law the recently established National Film Fund (MNF
www.filmalap.hu ) will become the central body for the support of the
Hungarian film industry.
The MNF will be funded primarily from
the national Six Lottery. Starting from 1 January 2012 the fund will
receive 80% of the Six Lottery's gambling tax revenues which is
estimated to amount to 4 bln HUF.
The new law was approved by a vote of
249 for and 102 against. It abolishes all previous categories of
automatic and structural support for Hungarian film. Under the
previous film law, unanimously enacted in 2004, the Hungarian Motion
Picture Foundation, (www.mmka.hu)
a self-governing body of the film industry, was the main funding
organisation of film culture in Hungary.
The MNF is owned
by the state and its CEO is appointed by the government. The CEO
appoints the five-member committee that awards grants. The MNF will
concentrate on funding full-length feature films, documentaries and
animation films. Agnes Havas, one of Hungary's best known film
producers, is presently the acting head of MNF.
The new law
states that the MNF has to emphasize cultural and generational
diversity. Some Hungarian film professionals had voiced concern
that the centralization of the support would lead to the demise of
Hungarian art house films which have been highly successful at
international film festivals.
Motion Picture Foundation previously awarded the most prestigious
veteran filmmakers with the title "Master of the Hungarian
Motion Picture." The new law establishes a new award called
"Film Artist of the Nation" that will be given by the
government. Awarded filmmakers get a life-long allowance. Ferenc
Grunwalsky, the previous president of the Hungarian Motion Picture
Foundation was one of those awarded under the previous system.
Grunwalsky's leadership of the now defunct organisation has been
The MNF stated
in a press release that their main duty will be the operation of the
new system; controlling the productions and administering their
support; the international representation of the Hungarian films; and
the distribution of films that are part of the national film archives
(mainly the films made before 1989) and of those films that are
produced with the support of the MNF.
producers have voiced concern about a provision that gives the MNF
the right of the final cut for films it supports. Government
appointed film commissioner, Andrew G. Vajna, responded in the press
that they might change their support rules and only ask for this
right if they support a project with more than 150 m HUF (500,000
EUR). MNF requirements for the films it supports have not yet been
made public so filmmakers are still in the dark about what
obligations MNF support will incur.