FNE Visegrad 2011: Coproductions in Hungary 2011

By FNE Staff

    BUDAPEST: The tax incentive scheme in Hungary set up in 2004 together with special grants for international coproduction from the Hungarian Motion Picture Foundation (MMK www.mmka.hu) was responsible for a huge increase in the number of coproductions in Hungary over the past few years. But the halt of MMK payments on its contracts for subsidies in mid-2011, left a number of Hungarian film production companies as well as their coproduction partners in a difficult position financially.

    In 2011 a number of Hungarian coproductions were completed and released in cinemas, but only a few started shooting. Adrienn Pál by Ágnes Kocsis was released on 19 March 2011, almost a year after the Hungarian-Dutch-Austrian-French picture had its premiere at Cannes. The film went on to win the first FNE Visegrad Prix. The Turin Horse by Béla Tarr was made as a French-Swiss-German-American coproduction. It won the Silver Bear in Berlin and had its national premiere at the end of March. Womb by Benedek Fliegauf, which had French and German partners, premiered in Locarno in 2010 and hit the cinemas in April 2011. Retrace by Judit Elek (an FNE Ambassador) was produced in partnership with Romania. The film had its festival premiere in Moscow, after the Hungarian release.

    There are two majors coproductions yet to be released in Hungary. The Maiden Danced to Death by Endre Hules, which premiered at the Montreal International Film Festival, had Slovenian and Canadian coproducers. The national premiere of the film is set to be in November. The highly anticipated new film by Ferenc Török, Isztambul was made as a Turkish-Irish-Dutch coproduction. The film is still in postproduction, but the Turkish and the Hungarian premieres are both expected to take place in October.

    Rebecca Daly’s feature film debut The Other Side of Sleep is a minority Hungarian coproduction which premiered on the Cannes Film Festival in the Quinzaine Director’s Fortnight. It was shot as an Irish-Dutch-Hungarian coproduction with Hungarian coproducer Ferenc Pusztai of KMH Films. István Szabó’s new film The Door has a budget of 6 million EUR. The project finished shooting and is in postproduction now. Jenő Hábermann of FilmArt teamed up with German company Intuit Pictures to produce the film. The film should be released in the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.

    The animation film Egill by Áron Gauder has been in production for several years. The movie has a 3.2 million EUR budget, and it has German and Icelander contributors. Árpád Bogdán plans to start a film with Laokoon with Finnish and Serbian partners, The Necromancer, which participated in a few pitchings at festivals. Ferenc Pusztai will work again with Attila Gigor, the director of The Investigator. Their new project is The Man Who Didn’t Get Shot, planned to start filming it in 2012 as an Irish-Swedish-South African coproduction.

    Andy Vajna, government commissioner of the film industry and developer of the post-MMK support system of Hungarian film culture, stated that coproductions will be crucial in the future of the film industry. Film professionals expect the Hungarian National Film Fund to give priority to the support of these collaborations.