The streaming services available in Hungary have been expanded with a new online film library, called FILMIO. In line with today’s expectations, it makes the old and new masterpieces and timeless favourites of Hungarian film production available by offering the widest possible offer.
Since November 2020, we can watch a whole bunch of Hungarian movies, old classics and new favourites together with animations, short films and documentaries on the online website.
“We can call it a cultural-historical moment, as through FILMIO the nearly one hundred and twenty-year-old Hungarian cinematographic treasure has become available to anyone, with a constantly expanding offer” said Csaba Káel, who himself had been directing film, television and stage productions before, now Hungary’s government commissioner for developing the Hungarian national motion picture industry.
As he said in his launch speech back in November there will be productions, mainly series that will be filmed specifically here, for this site, just like in the case of the big international streaming sites and there will also be some feature films that will be presented only here.
FILMIO’s library includes the most recent Hungarian motion picture successes, such as the “Valami Amerika” trilogy, “Poligamy”, “Megdönteni Hajnal Tímeát”, “Swing”, “Kincsem”, “Viszkis”, “Liza, a rókatündér” and the Oscar-winning “Saul fia” (“Son of a Saul”). Besides all the hit films, you can find former classics like “Hyppolit, a lakáj”, “Mici néni két élete”, “A tizedes meg a többiek”, “A veréb is madár”, “A tanú”, “Régi idők focija”, “A Pogány Madonna”, “Megáll az idő”, “Szamárköhögés”, “Macskafogó”, “Roncsfilm”, “Sose halunk meg”, “Csinibaba” or “Moszkva tér”.
All of the movies available in the online film library are in an excellent quality, as specialists by the NFI Film Lab and Film Archive has restored them, so you can enjoy really old pieces as well. The Hungarian Academy of Arts and the National Film Institute (NFI) have worked together to renew more than thirty films up until now. A real curiosity on the platform is one of the first surviving Hungarian films, which was shot by Michael Curtiz (Mihály Kertész) in 1914, titled – “A tolonc”.
If we consider, an online collection is a highly beneficial option for series, documentaries, animations, short films and experimental films, as it is often the case that these types of cinematic features do not usually get the opportunity to appear in the cinemas or they generally have limited platforms where they can appear. Here, however, they can be viewed at any time, so publicly funded films can reach out to much more viewers than before.
Those film fanatics who are already experts in navigating in Netflix will find FILMIO equally easy to operate, since you can search by categories and genres as well. Among the extras you can find for example werkfilms, the original posters of the movies and other interesting items which you can download.
Up until now the stream only works from Hungary with a monthly fee system, available from PC, tablet or smartphone.
When the streaming service was launched back in November 2020, we learned the following information – in order to be accessible, the films are also getting subtitles in Hungarian and in the foreseeable future all the films will get English subtitles. A smart TV application is being developed and negotiations are also underway with film institutes of the V4 (Hungary plus Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) countries, so there is a good chance of a completely new, colourful, multilingual Central European streaming service.
From a 5-months operational perspective we have asked NFI about the current numbers of the streaming site. Csaba Zoltán Papp, responsible for public relations said that FILMIO started on the 19th of November last year with 220 pieces from the 120 years of Hungarian film heritage. The initial offer included 160 motion pictures, and the range expands weekly with a current, full-length movie and an old, restored movie classic. Right now, a total of 255 Hungarian features can be viewed in FILMIO’s offer, 177 full-night movies and TV films, 60 animations, 14 documentaries and 4 short films.
Asking about the developments we got the answer that the smartphone applications were already available on both Android and iOS mobile devices after the launch, but the necessary developments to launch the smartphone app and the TVoD service – which allows you to watch a movie without a subscription – are in progress. They are planning to launch it in May this year.
English and accessible subtitles are already available for about 70% of the films on FILMIO, the production and uploading of subtitles to the streaming site are continuous.
I was also curios about the statistics of the viewership: “The number of subscribers exceeded our initial expectations right at the start, and the group of FILMIO users has been growing steadily ever since. The activity rate of the subscribers is almost 70%, this means that the majority of FILMIO users start playing at least one Hungarian film per month”– said Csaba Zoltán Papp.
Regarding the most popular pieces on the streaming site, he mentioned that both recent hit movies and old classics can be found on FILMIO’s 25 most watched films and you can even find a very popular animation for kids (“Vízipók-Csodapók”), but not surprisingly, there are many newly added films on the popularity list. Below are the 5 most viewed Hungarian features on FILMIO with the 20-year-old “Moszkva tér” on the top. This list is based on the number of users watching each movie between 19th November 2020 and 31st January 2021.
4. A tanú
3. A Pogány Madonna
1. Moszkva tér