The Hungarian state-owned film studios to merge


    BUDAPEST: The four state-owned film production companies that produced the majority of the Hungarian films before 1989 are about to merge. János Rózsa (head of Objektiv, http://www.objektivfilm.hu), Pál Sándor (head of Hunnia Filmstudio, http://www.hunniafilm.hu) and Tamás Tolmár (head of Dialog) were unexpectedly removed by the government on 31 January. From 1 February György Such is managing the three studios and he will also be the CEO of Budapest Filmstudio from 15 February. Budapest Filmstudio is run temporarily by Balázs Gulyás, head of the distribution company MOKÉP (www.mokep.hu).

    The four studios are among the founders of the Hungarian Motion Picture Foundation (www.mmka.hu), the former centre of the film support scheme; appointing one person to manage them is part of the restructuring of the Hungarian film industry that is currently underway. The Hungarian parliament allotted 7.5 million EUR for film production in the 2011 budget to the Ministry for National Development (www.nfm.gov.hu).

    The news of the merger came just two weeks after the appointment of Andy Vajna as the government commissioner for the film industry. Vajna's plans have not yet been announced but he has said he will make an announcement shortly. Such has not worked in the film industry before but he is widely respected for running the Hungarian Radio Network (http://www.radio.hu) between 2006-2010. Under his management the state-owned radio stations became highly profitable and their popularity rose enormously.