Four million euro pledged for Hungarian docs


    Hungary's Motion Picture Foundation (www.mmka.hu), the state film fund, and Duna Television (www.dunatv.hu), the country's leading cultural channel, have pledged to add 100 million forints (€4 million) to fund documentaries on Hungarian society, nearly doubling the current budget.

    The funding will supplement the existing 142.5-million forint (€4.8 million) budget of the MMK fund's documentary department.

    The money will be awarded in a new allocation round to be completed by year-end, fund president Ferenc Grunwalsky said at a news conference Aug. 31. A call for applications will be announced later this fall. Instead of MMK's documentary jury, a newly appointed four-member council will decide on the applications.

    The initiative is designed primarily to help filmmakers who seek to reflect Hungarian society in their work, officials said. The amount is expected to be divided among 18-20 films. To boost their international presence, Duna Television, which is operated by a non-profit foundation, will also cover the making of festival prints for the chosen films.

    The announcement follows a similar deal announced in March between the fund and public broadcaster Hungarian Television, or MTV (www.mtv.hu), to provide funding for feature films - especially literary adaptations - and children's programming.

    In 2007, due to the financial strains of Hungary's economy, MMK lost 2 billion forints (€8 million) of its annual budget