NMHH Media Council: New Non-Fiction Films on Wide-Ranging Subjects from the Eurasian Lynx to Hungarian Holy Priests of Foreign Descent

Published: 10 November 2017

The Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) has provided grants in the total value of HUF 78.8 million for the production of nine non-fiction films and has contributed to the production of twenty-eight radio news and public interest programs. Mária Rádió Zemplén can broadcast in Tekibánya, while the media service provider of Sport2 was obliged to pay a fine of HUF fifty thousand for surreptitious advertising.

HUF 78.8 million for non-fiction films and HUF 74.6 million for radio programs

In the second round of this year’s Kollányi Ágoston tender, the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme provided grants for the production of nine non-fiction films and series in a total value of HUF 78.8 million. Szabolcs Mosonyi will shoot a new installment for the “Wild Hungary” films entitled Wild Woods, Wild Peaks focusing on the Eurasian Lynx, whilst Balázs Simonyi will present the challenges of the bird hospital of a renowned Hungarian veterinary and a volunteer Greek animal rights activist. Áron Gauder received funds to prepare the third episode of his Stone Axe Man series; on this occasion, the filmmakers will seek to uncover the everyday life of a Neanderthal tribe hunting for mammoths in the area of the current-day city of Tata. The series of Marcell Jankovics on Hungarian saints is also set to continue. On this occasion, viewers can find out more about a dozen of holy priests of foreign descent who were at the forefront of the conversion of the Hungarians – particularly the Grand Prince and his court – including Czech Saint Adalbert who christened Grand Prince Géza, Saint Gellért born in Venice, known as the tutor of Saint Emeric, as well as John of Capistrano of Italian descent who successfully recruited soldiers for the battle of Nándorfehérvár. Director Zoltán Hevér will shoot sixteen additional episodes for the series entitled Reformation from Week to Week, interviewing civilians who each discuss for five minutes the shared points of their professions and faith. Ferenc Vojtkó is shooting a film on the attempt to merge the Greek Catholic congregations of Zakarpattya into the Orthodox Church, whilst Péter Pál Tóth is making a film on the story of political prisoners taken away during the German occupation. Melinda Gálfi is making a film out of the life of English historian and diplomat Sir Bryan Cartledge, who sympathized with the Hungarian cause, and György Farkas is shooting an eight-part series on Hungarian specialties.

Through twenty-eight successful tenders, small community, commercial and community radios will receive HUF 74.6 million worth of funds in the third round of the Media Council’s annual tender on the support of the production of news and public interest programs. In the news program category, the successful bidders include Lakihegyi Rádió of Szigetszentmiklós, Rádió Szentendre, Európa Rádió’s radio stations in Sátoraljaújhely and Miskolc, Csillagpont Rádió similarly based in Miskolc, Tiszta-tó Rádió in Tiszafüred, Friss FM of Szombathely, Rádió 24 of Dunaújváros, Tamási Rádió, 100.4 Rádió 1 of Salgótarján, 95.1 Rádió 1 of Zalaegerszeg, Klasszik Rádió 92.1 of Budapest, Vörösmarty Rádió of Székesfehérvár, Bajai Rádió, KORONAfm100 of Kalocsa and Rádió Dabas. FM7 Rádió of Eger, Fortuna Rádió in Paks, Active Rádió and Amadeus Rádió in Szolnok, Rádió Szarvas, 99.4 Rádió 1 of Pecs, Berettyó Rádió and Sárvár Rádió all received grants for the production of public interest programs. Érd FM 101.3 and Rádió 7 in Hódmezőváráshely received grants in both categories.

Radio tender-related decisions

In the procedure of the Telkibánya 100.6 MHz community radio frequency, the board announced Médiahíd Kft. as the winner with their planned service of Mária Rádió Zemplén, which submitted its bid connected into a network with Mária Rádió of Budapest.

The Council approved the request of Európa Rádió broadcasting on the Szeged 87.9 MHz frequency to be connected into a network with the media service of Radio Plus Kft. Budapest 96.4 MHz Rádió 1. Thus the daily airtime of the radio broadcasting from 7 November in Szeged under the name of 87.9 Rádió 1 will amount to four hours and forty minutes which is forty minutes longer than when connected into a network with Európa Rádió broadcasting on the Debrecen 94.4 MHz frequency.

Fines for surreptitious advertising and deviations from the programming schedule

The Media Council fined AMC Networks Central Europe Kft., the media service provider of Sport2, for HUF fifty thousand for publishing surreptitious advertising. One of the August shows of the channel’s program entitled Horserace afternoon aired an interview with the organizer of a gastronomy event, including a detailed presentation of its schedule, followed by a view of the event’s official poster. In this manner, the service provider advertised an event by misleading its audience, as the viewers didn’t encounter the commercial content in a separate advertisement, but rather watched the program in the belief that it was free of advertisements.

The Council imposed a fine of HUF ten thousand on the service provider of the Friss FM community radio, due to a regulatory inspection in August. The radio aired less spoken word content, Hungarian music and public service, news programs and programs on the local community life which facilitate day-to-day activities than stated in their public contract. When imposing a fine, the Media Council always determines the form and extent of the penalties with due consideration to all the circumstances of the specific case and employing the principle of progressiveness and proportionality.