Media Council supports Hungarian Special Independent Film Festival again this year

Published: 12 July 2018

At this week’s meeting, the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) decided to provide another grant for ad-hoc filming under Escher Károly Tender; this time, scenes will be shot for a documentary on forced displacement. Moreover, the Council contributed HUF 500 thousand to the awards to be presented at the 4th Hungarian Special Independent Film Festival. The Council imposed fines due to deviations in programming schedules and non-compliance with statutory programming quotas and called on bidders to remedy deficiencies in the formal examination of the bids submitted for local radio frequencies Nyíregyháza 99.4 MHz and 103.9 MHz.

Filming and film festival grants

With a HUF 1.5 million grant received under the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme’s Escher Károly Tender supporting immediate on-site filming costs, Ábel Sellei will be able to shoot scenes for his documentary on the 1951 forced displacements called Vendvidék. At the same time, the successful applicant undertakes to apply with the raw footage in the next round of the Ember Judit Tender.

The Council offers a cash prize of HUF 500 thousand to the Grand Prize winner of the 4th Hungarian Special Independent Film Festival. This event is hosted by the Hungarian Special Motion Picture Association, and is open for submission of films made by filmmakers with intellectual disabilities and autism and people working in the social field as well as works depicting the life of people with disabilities until 17th September. The Film Festival will be held on 24-25th October in Budapest; for more information, visit the Association’s website.

Fines for deviations from programming quotas and in programming schedules

The Media Council reviewed compliance with television programming quotas during 2017 and identified violations in the case of 18 different media service providers. They include the operator of national channels TV4 and Story4 as well as regional channel Galaxy4, Digital Media and Communications Zrt., that received a fine amounting to HUF 600 thousand, with the others being local and regional media service providers that received fines of a few tens of thousands of forints. The Media Act sets out a clear requirement for television channels to dedicate a certain percentage of their total annual broadcasting time to European and/or Hungarian works, depending on how they are classified (linear, on-demand or public service) and also makes a special reference to the proportion of works produced by independent programme creators on behalf of the service provider or work no older than five years purchased by the service provider from an independent programme creator.

During a programming week in April under review, Tatai Televízió and Tatabányai Televízió aired less daily regular news than specified in their official decisions, with the latter also deviating from the authorised form of networking. The Media Council called on the service provider of Tatai Televízió to ensure compliance with the requirement for lawful conduct and refrain from violations in the future, while imposing a HUF 10 thousand fine on the media service provider of the other TV channel. Halas Rádió broadcasted less Hungarian music and more reruns than included in its commitments and was fined HUF 10 thousand by the Council.

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.

Decisions concerning radio frequencies

The Media Council refused the request submitted by Advenio Zrt. for the termination of the public contract for national commercial radio broadcasting between HOLD Rádiós és Televíziós Reklám Kft. and the Media Council. The main reason for this refusal was that the requesting company is not a client in the contracting process, and therefore not entitled to submit such a request as an outside third party.

The Media Council examined the compliance with the formal requirements of the bids submitted for the local radio frequencies Nyíregyháza 99.4 MHz and 103.9 MHz. Bids were submitted for both by Regionális Rádió Kft. and Sunshine Rádió Kft., for the former by LB Rádió Kft. and for the latter by Center-Rádió Kft. The Council called on all bidders to remedy deficiencies.