The Media Council took decisions on the funding of 6 feature films and 15 short films and the technological development of 20 local and regional TV and radio stations

Published: 29 May 2015


At its last meeting, the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority granted nearly HUF 675 million in funding through the Fehér György tender for television films and the Huszárik Zoltán tender for short films within the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme. In view of next year’s anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the Council decided to provide funding for plans of films about this era to be shown on Duna TV and TV2. Furthermore, the Council approved the applications for technical development funding submitted by 17 local and regional TV and radio stations and 3 media service providers in Budapest, namely Hegyvidék Televízió, Inforádió and Klubrádió, to the amount of HUF 55 million in total. The Council also decided to offer a HUF 500,000 special prize in the Culture category of the 15th Lakitelek Film Festival (XV. Lakitelki Filmszemle) to be held in September.

Six new TV films to come within a year

At its meeting held this week, the Media Council decided to provide financial support amounting to HUF 597.3 million in total for the production of six TV films through the 2015 Fehér György tender within the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme. Using the funding received, István Kovács will direct the film Szürke senkik (Gray Nobodies), a World War I story about the suicide mission of a Hungarian-Austrian-Romanian reconnaissance unit, penned by Norbert Köbli, the scriptwriter for A berni követ (The Ambassador to Bern). Based on a true story, A Pajtás: a Párt hajója (The Fellow: the Boat of the Party), a film by Péter Gárdos, is set at Lake Balaton in 1954. The boat named in honour of Mátyás Rákosi had an accident in which many children lost their lives and its true story was kept secret for decades. In director Réka Almási’s film Tranzit idő (Transit Time) a man presumed to be in a state of cardiac arrest faces his past and mistakes. László Vitézy will direct A teremtő háta mögött (Behind the Back of the Creator), an amalgamation of István Sinka’s novel Fekete bojtár vallomásai (Confessions of Black Shepherd), and Barbárok (Barbarians), a short story by Zsigmond Móricz. Róbert Pajer’s Magyar Fátum – A király halála (Hungarian Fate – Death of the King) is planned to be a fascinating yet authentic account of the death of King Louis II of Hungary. Bicskei Zoltán will direct Álom hava (Month of Dreams) to be set in the winter of 1680, featuring symbolic characters: the Girl, the Scribe, the One-Eyed Man, Satan and the Old Man. The film will be completed by the end of September 2016.

Funded short films: stories spanning from World War II through the fifties and eighties to the present day

The Council decided to provide funds amounting to HUF 75.4 million in total for 15 short and experimental films through the 2015 Huszárik Zoltán tender. One of them comes from a film-maker from outside Hungary: Arthur Bálint, a director from Vojvodina, will make Kötelék, avagy a rab és a börtönőr (Bond or the prisoner and the warden), a tragic domestic drama unfolding between the homeless husband and the wife taking care of him. In a letter of intent, TV2 agreed to air two films: Wellness, directed by Virág Szabó from the short story of Krisztina Tóth about the relationship between two retired ladies, and Cinematographer, a Faustian story with autobiographical elements by Emil Novák. The other 13 films will premiere on Duna TV, including Plattensee by Dávid Spáh, set in a pioneer camp in Zánka in the eighties, that tells the story of an East-German boy’s escape. Also set in the eighties near Lake Balaton, Záridő (Exposure time) is about a camera with the extraordinary ability to make characters appear and disappear. Simon Szabó’s Bögre (Mug) depicts a typical, tragic episode from the end of World War II about the repercussions of helping people sent on a forced march.

A dramatised report documentary, entitled Egerek és emberek (Mice and Men), will be produced about the traumatic experiences of Béla Krasznai, the President of the Recsk Association. Set in Budapest in 1959, the short film A lányöltöző (The girls’ locker room), will tell the story of a childhood friendship between boys. A répa (The carrot) will evoke the spirit of the fifties, featuring the bloody adventures of Andrei, a Soviet agricultural worker, in connection with a huge vegetable found in the field. The short film Uchebnik is based on a true story: at the beginning of November 1956, a Russian language teacher investigates the case of many children burning their Russian textbooks in a village elementary school. Viktória Bosnyák’s short film A szomorú kacagány (The sad fur cape) is primarily aimed at a younger audience and tells the story of “jacket children” who have flowers growing on their heads. Director Teréz Koncz will depict the complications of adoption in A levelek (The Letters), while in Az átalakítás folyamatban (Transformation in Progress), a retired lady starts a new life with the help of plastic surgery and online dating. Noémi Veronika Szakonyi will make a film about a the conflict in a relationship over views on life that erupts at a village pig slaughter, while A kötőtű (The Knitting Pin) will portray the everyday life of a six-year-old disable boy living from a large family living in extreme poverty in a village.

The films must be completed by July 2016 and winning applicants must agree to enter their films in the competition at a Hungarian or international festival within one and a half years.

Media Council to offer special prize at the 15th Lakitelek Film Festival

The Media Council will be one of the sponsors of the 15th Lakitelek Film Festival, to be held between 21-23 September 2015. The Council will offer a HUF 500,000 special prize in the Culture category. Entries received by 10 August 2015 will be judged by a pre-jury at the beginning of September, then a professional jury, headed by Kossuth Prize-winning director Sándor Sára, will select the winning films from those that qualify for the next round. This year’s Film Festival will be held in honour of Kossuth and Balázs Béla Prize-winning Hungarian director, photographer and cinematographer István Gaál and organised by Dunaversitas Association (Dunaversitas Egyesület), Szent István University in Gödöllő and the People’s Academy Foundation (Népfőiskola Alapítvány).

Twenty community TV and radio stations won in the first round of the tender for technical development; Füred TV was recognised as a community media service by the Media Council

In the first round of the tender for the technical development of community radio and television stations, the Media Council awarded financial support, amounting to HUF 55.2 million in total, to twenty media service providers. From the media service providers operating in Budapest, three, Hegyvidék Televízió, Inforádió and Klubrádió, applied successfully. Outside Budapest, the following twelve TV stations received funding: Danubia Televízió in Bóly, Nagykálló, Kiskőrös, Kistelek, Mohács, Mezőtúri and Tahitótfalu, KiSDuNa TV in Dunaharaszti, Körös Televízió in Békéscsaba, Tatai Televízió and Körzeti Televízió in Tata and Somogy Televízió in Kaposvár. Five radios outside Budapest won funding: Pont Rádió in Mezőtúr, Radio Sun in Gyomaendrőd, Európa Rádió in Debrecen and Miskolc and Alpha Rádió in Székesfehérvár.

The Media Council also decided to recognise Füred TV in Balatonfüred as a community media service. Media service provider „Füred Stúdió” Televíziós Kft. fully complies with all statutory requirements needed for recognition, including broadcasting public-service programmes in more than two-thirds of its weekly airtime, therefore the Council grants the service provider of the TV station an exemption from the payment of the media service fee under the Media Act.