HUF 122.8 million worth of grants for documentary films

Published: 1 February 2018

At its weekly session, the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority decided to support the production of 16 documentary films under the Ember Judit tendering procedure, as part of the Hungarian Media Patronage Program. Additionally, the Council decided to support recording a bell rescue scheme through the Escher Károly tendering procedure and the Jameson CineFest Miskolc International Film Festival as well as to extend the licenses for the use of numerous radio frequencies.

Film tender-related decisions

Sixteen documentaries can be produced thanks to the latest decision of the Media Council in relation to the Hungarian Media Patronage Program. In the third round of the 2017 edition of the Ember Judit tendering procedure, the board agreed on providing grants in the total value of HUF 122.8 million.

László Pesty will direct a film – as the third installment of the Junkie (Dzsanki) series—on homeless intravenous drug users, which—based on the previous parts of the series—can have a strong impact even on those dealing with drug prevention, due to its naturalistic approach. András Kisfaludy’s film entitled Without Charges (Vád nélkül) deals with the tragic fate of Imre Biedermann, who was beaten to death in 1953 without a court sentence. The film entitled Play on the Nerves (Az idegek játéka) (director: Árpád Sopsits) also deals with the horrors of communism, focusing on the methods of politically motivated forced psychiatric treatments subsequent to 1956. Márton Ördög-Kovács’s film under the working title of Scattered (Szétszóratva) will deal with events which took place in the 1950s, when the State Protection Authority imprisoned, drove away or forced approximately nine thousand male and female monks into hiding. Glória Halász is set to shoot a musical documentary film entitled Alla Zingara on the 100-member Budapest Gypsy Philharmonic Orchestra. András Dér’s film entitled 1365 Days of József Antall (Antall József 1365 napja) will deal with the office of the former historian-prime minister. The film entitled Jenő Fuchs: the First Man (Fuchs Jenő: az első ember) will deal with the first Hungarian Olympic champion saber fencer (directed by: Gyula Czinke). György Bohák’s film The Old Cavalryman (Az öreg huszár) focuses on József Schweidel, the martyr general of the 1848-49 revolution. György Dobray presents the independent life of a couple with Down syndrome in his film entitled The Two of Us (Ketten). Bence Gyöngyössy’s film entitled The Virtuoso of Transplantation (A transzplantáció virtuóza) deals with the life and work of Ferenc Perner, who was considered the pioneer of domestic transplant surgery in the 80s. Another bio-pic is Restless Blood (Nyugtalan vér) (directed by: Tamás Kővári) which deals with the work of László Bíró, one of the most versatile Hungarian inventors and polymaths. Sanyi and co. (Sanyiék) is Bálint Révész and Dávid Mikulán’s joint film plan, which is a coming-of-age tale of an urban street urchin.

Grants were also awarded to four cross-border tenders. The awarded works include films on the Budvár district of Székelyudvarhely—The Quarter Swept Under the Rug (A szőnyeg alá söpört negyed; directed by: Attila Szabó)—a man’s hairdressers in Székelyudvarhely operated by father, son and daughter—Small Town Barber (A kisvárosi borbély; directed by: Arthur Bálint)—as well as treatments of the 1968 demonstrations in Csíkszereda—County Makers (Megyecsinálók; directed by: Katalin Erzsébet Daczó)—and the 1944-45 executions and lynch mobs in Csantavér—Forgive, but not Forget (Megbocsájtani igen, feledni nem; directed by: Zoltán Kozma).

In the Escher Károly tendering procedure on grants to support the immediate on-site filming of ad hoc events, the board awarded HUF 1.42 million worth of funds for the tender of director György Bohák’s film with the working title of Saving the bells of Szútor on the third Sunday of January (Szútori harangmentés január harmadik vasárnapján), which seeks to capture the efforts to save the church bells of the Hungarian village in Gömör in a near-catastrophic state—supported by drone footage—as a symbol of the hardships of Hungarians in Upper Hungary.

Radio-related decisions

At the request of its media service provider, the Council extended the media service provision rights of Amadeus Rádió broadcasting on the Szolnok 102.4 MHz local frequency for five years, until May 2023, and also approved the provision rights extension request of Rádió M broadcasting on the Miskolc 101.6 MHz, Kazincbarcika 95.9 MHz, Ózd 99.5 MHz and Tiszaújváros 89.6 MHz frequencies. Conversely, the Council did not renew the license of Rádió 1 broadcasting on the Tihany 105.7 MHz frequency, operated by Life Essence Kft. as the Media Council had previously found the media service provider to have severely violated the provisions of the Media Act, which is a legal barrier to the extension of the license.

The board has concluded a temporary public contract for an additional two months (from 19 February to 19 April) with Rádió 96,3 Kft., as the operator of Fortuna Rádió, for the media service provision rights of the Paks 96.3 MHz local frequency.

Festival support

The board has decided to again support the Jameson CineFest Miskolc International Film Festival: the Council has offered a total of HUF 3 million worth of awards for the winners of the Best Short Film, New Wave and Young Hungarian Animation Talent (Dargay Attila award) categories at the event hosted between 8-17 September.