Media Council: thirteen new short films could be produced with funding from the patronage programme

Published: 1 March 2019

At this week’s meeting, the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) awarded a total of HUF 73.4 million in patronage funding for the production of short films from last year’s budget of the Zoltán Huszárik tender. The Tihany 105.7 MHz and four small-community frequencies will soon be tendered. The Tardos tender will shortly be open for bids, and the Egerszeg Rádió will be on air 24 hours a day. The Media Council imposed a fine on two media service providers playing radio programmes without a licence during their teletext service.

13 short films to be produced with a total funding of HUF 73.4 million

The Media Council decided on the film plans submitted for the second round of the Zoltán Huszárik tender of the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme announced last year, and awarded a total of HUF 73.4 million to support the production of thirteen short films. With Defekt (Puncture), Sándor Gál come out with a film about a woman and a young girl stranded in the suburban night in their car and the van driver helping them out. The focus of the film entitled Elszámolnivaló (Unfinished business) by Bálint Szentgyörgyi is focusing on one of the students of the University of Theatre and Film Arts, who is faced with a strange favour asked by his father he has not seen since his childhood. Jövetel (Coming) by Mátyás Szabó tells the story of a lonely man in his fifties, who bumps into aliens on the outskirts of the village in the middle of the night. Gergő Simon’s Feltámadás (Resurrection) is about a disadvantaged family of the Lyukó Valley, where poverty triggers an unexpected idea in the father. Virág Szabó’s Gréti világa (Gréti’s World) presents the everyday life of adolescents turned upside down by an unfortunate event in the online world. Péter Fülöp’s Digicica (Digi Cat) starts with a fun game, but then the cat that seemed real suddenly disappears from the child’s view. The film entitled Szégyen (Shame) inspired by Marcell Wrochna’s true story is set in Hungary in the 1950s as a family prepares for the slaughter of the forbidden second pig. In the film entitled Ezerkilencszáztizenkilenc (1919), János Bozsogi portrays the hopeless situation of everyday life in Transylvania after the First World War, while Szonja Szabó’s film Fault is based on a short story by Ágnes Mészöly entitled Egészpályás indítás (Full-court pass) portraying the disintegration of a girl’s handball team. Zsolt Balogh’s A túszejtő (The Hostage-taker) is based on a short story by László Csiki and portrays a coach driver, who suddenly decides to get off the usual route with his passengers. In Második kör (Second Round) Gábor Holtai presents the difficulties of child-planning and making compromises in an alternative world, while Ádám Nagy’s Valóság Filter (Reality Filter) is about a vlogger girl and attempts to answer the question as to how young people can remain honest in today's digital world. Finally, the experimental short film by Zoltán Janovics entitled Otthon (At Home) is set in a room where a seemingly same half-minute scene is repeated, yet the story expands with a new player in each round.

Decisions related to radio frequency tenders

During the formal examination of the tenders for the commercial use of two local radios, namely Dunaújváros 99.1 MHz and Szigetszentmiklós 107.0 MHz, the Council called on the only bidder of each tender, i.e. Karc FM Média Kft. in the former and Lakihegy Rádió Bt. in the latter case, to submit missing documents. The Media Council declared the tender procedure launched for the community use of the Tardos 95.5 MHz local radio media service unsuccessful, as the only bidder, i.e. Tardosi Vörösmárvány Alapítvány submitted a formally invalid bid. At the same time, the Council requested the Office of the NMHH to prepare the draft of a new tender invitation.

The Media Council adopted and on Thursday published on its website for review the draft invitation to tender for the community use of the local radio frequency Kisújszállás 103.2 MHz, as the licence of the operator of Európa Rádió currently operating on the frequency will, after 12 years, expire in May this year without the option of renewal. The Media Council finalized and published on its website the call for bids for the commercial use of the currently unused Tihany 105.7 MHz local radio media service. Bids may be submitted on 1 April.

The Media Council approved the request by Zalaegerszeg Televízió és Rádió Kft.: the media service previously operating as part of the Radio 1 network will operate again on the Zalaegerszeg 95.1 MHz local frequency under the name Egerszeg Rádió, just as prior to the network connection, still on a commercial basis but 24 hours a day instead of the current 4 hour 40 minute broadcasting time.

The Council approved the call for tender for the theoretical utilisation of small-community radio media service provision rights to expire in 2019 without the option of renewal, and published the document on its website on Thursday. The media service provision rights available in the tender for the sites of Siófok-Fokihegy, Miskolc, Szentendre and Gyomaendrőd scheduled to expire this year will be issued for a maximum of three years, but with the option of renewal for another 5 years if the conditions outlined in the Media Act are met. The authority accepts tender bids on 3 April for catering to the specific information needs of the social, ethnic, minority, cultural or religious communities living in the specific coverage area.

Media supervisory decisions

Last December Ipoly Televízió, the television of the Balassagyarmat community broadcast the radio programme ‘Megafon’ of Megafon Kft. on two examined programme days for the entire duration of the teletext service, which qualifies as unlicensed network connection. The Media Council imposed a fine of HUF 60,000 each, on the two media service providers in question.

When imposing a fine, the Media Council always determines the form and extent of the fine with due consideration to all circumstances of the specific case, including all other violations in the same subject previously committed by the operator, along with the audience ratios of the endangered age group, and employs the principle of progressiveness and proportionality.

Based on reports from citizens, the Media Council examined the opinion piece entitled Fagyhalál (Frost Death) published in the printed and online version of Magyar Idők last October, and the article Meddig élnek vissza a hajléktalanok mindannyiunk türelmével? (How long will the homeless abuse our patience?) published in the printed and the online versions of Ripost, and concluded that neither of these were suitable for exclusion and thus closed he investigation. The Media Council established that Magyar Idők took a side in the social debate over the amendment of the Act on Criminal Offences, and that the author did not exceed the limits of acceptable criticism. The Ripost article also featured the effects of the legislative amendment of the act affecting people living in public areas. However, it did not portray the homeless community schematically and unilaterally, but only focused on people who did not use public spaces properly, and actually sent a message contrary to what would qualify as exclusion.

The full agenda of the Media Council’s weekly sessions can be found on the Board’s website, just as the minutes of the meetings and all decisions taken; the latest rulings will be published after the necessary certification and administration period.