Media Council: a total of HUF 81.6 million for non-fiction films

Published: 26 January 2018

The Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) has provided grants in the total value of HUF 81.6 million for the production of ten non-fiction films. The Council gives another HUF two million to the Fifth Savaria Film Festival as a support. Tilos Rádió was fined due to incorrect age rating, and Fix Tv did not fulfil the commitments set forth in its Administrative Contract. Upon the service provider’s request, the Council renewed the media service provision rights of Győr Plusz Rádió for another five years.

HUF 81.6 million for non-fiction films, and support for the Savaria Film Festival

Under its Hungarian Media Patronage Programme, the Media Council awarded more than HUF 81.6 million in 2017 as grants for ten film drafts in the third round of the Kollányi Ágoston tender for the production of popular science films. One of the films will present the efforts made by Hungarians to save rhinos and capture them in an artistic manner. Films about Pál Rockenbauer, a TV personality promoting nature tourism and local history, about the adventurous life of Miklós Horthy Jr., and about Károly Hajdú, who established the fundamentals of airplane restoration in Hungary will also be produced. Another one is to be shot about the microscopic world of tiny protozoons: sun-animalcules, ciliates and zooflagellates. Viewers of two other works will get to know more about the geological formations of volcanic origin in the Carpathian Basin and about legendary Hungarian stuntmen. A non-fiction film will be produced about the Hungarian Poster Association, and another one will present the story of the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation established in 1976 in New York, with a special focus on the last two decades of teh Ceaușescu regime. The ten works of art, declared to be recipients, include one from a filmmaker outside Hungary who will make a movie about the story of the virtuous and pious young members of the Sodality of Our Lady (the “Daughters of Mary”) and how their special dress is prepared.

The Council also made a decision to participate at the Fifth Savaria Film Festival, and to give a total of HUF 2 million in prize money to the top 3 of the categories best documentary, best featurette, best film étude, and best filmmaker coming from outside Hungary. The deadline for the submission of applications is 25 March, and the Festival will be held on 23–25 March in the city of Szombathely.

Programme irregularities

Tilos Rádió’s programme “Kelta karó” (Celtic stake) on 26 November was incorrectly rated for all audiences, instead of being given the 16 age rating, and was broadcast in the early afternoon time slot, which is inappropriate to the rating. Based on the investigation launched due to a citizen’s complaint, the Media Council imposed a HUF 50,000 fine on the media service provider of the radio station. In the programme, excerpts of the contemporary literary work titled “Földalatti nyár” (Summer underground) were cited by the author himself, in which the adult character drinks alcohol and then takes medicine to his hangover, smokes and starts conversations of sexual content, using vulgar language many times. In its statement made during the administrative procedure, the media service provider itself acknowledged that it broadcast rated content in a problematic time slot.

The Media Council emphasizes that the subject of the investigation was not to make judgment on the contemporary novel, so not the literary work itself but the programme’s broadcasting time was deemed an infringement in the procedure.

The Council imposed a fine of HUF 40,000 on the media service provider of Fix Tv broadcasting in Budapest, as the daily air time of the channel, the number of public service programmes, programmes dealing with local public life, and self-produced shows in one of its programme weeks last October were less than the channel previously committed itself to.

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.

A radio-related decision

At the request of PluszRádió Nonprofit Kft., the Council renews the media service provision rights of Győr Plusz Rádió that broadcasts on the Győr 100.0 Mhz frequency band for another five years, until 20 April 2023.