Hungarian distributor Linda Potyondi, Cirko Film

By Gyorgy Karpati

    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.

    Active ImageFounded 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.

    Cirko Film - Másképp Foundation
    Balassi Bálint u. 15-17
    Tel.: +36 1- 269 1915
    Fax: +36 1- 269 1915
    e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Homepage: www.cirkofilm.hu

    423 cinema screens
    205 theatrical releases in 2007
    from that number Maskepp Foundation had 16 titles (www.nemzetifilmiroda.hu) with the total attendance of 35.726 and with the ticket income appr. 86.300 euros. The average ticket price in Hungary in 2007 was 878HUF (appr. 3,7 euros).
    The number of cinema halls in Hungary was 423 in 2006 (Filmevkonyv 2007).