György Matolcsy, one of the founders and directors of Pannónia Film Studio, and the head of the studio of hundreds of animated films has died at the age of 91.
The death was announced on Tuesday on the Facebook page of Kecskemétfilm Kft. György Matolcsy’s studio management is associated with such renowned films as János Vitéz, Lúdas Matyi, Vuk or the Gusztáv series, MTI reports.
Dr. György Matolcsy – the father of MNB President György Matolcsy – was born on the 9th of May 1930 in Kecskemét. His father was the city’s medical officer and his mother was the daughter of the owner of the Beretvás Hotel. Matolcsy played tennis in his youth, winning the national championship.
He graduated in law in 1952 and economics at the Accounting College in 1954, while he was also a student of cinematography at the Academy of Theatre and Film Arts, 2021.kaff.hu reports.
In 1951 he founded the Hungarian Synchronous and Slide Film Production Company (later Synchronous Film Production Company), which took the name Pannónia Film Studio in 1957. In 1959 Matolcsy became head of the Drawing and Puppet Film Department.
From 1959 until his retirement in 1995, he was the head of the animation studio within the Pannónia Film Company and produced hundreds of animated films and series (e.g. Fehérlófia, Sisyphus, The Fly, The Bath, Vili the Sparrow, Lúdas Matyi, Vuk, Gustav series).
He was one of the founders of the Kecskemét Studio, a subsidiary of the studio, which became Kecskemétfilm after the change of regime. In the late 1960s, he launched animated film series and the animation course at the College of Applied Arts. He taught film aesthetics there and at the József Attila University.
In 1991 he founded the Pannon Animation Foundation. He has published several important books on animation. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was Secretary-General of the International Animation Film Association and headed the animation department until his retirement in 1995.
Under his leadership, Pannonia Film Studio was ranked among the top five animation studios in the world (the other four being Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Soviet Soyuzmultfilm, and Japanese Toei).
In the 1984 issue of Filmwelt, Matolcsy wrote: “For my part, I believe that a healthy set of values recognizes and supports the artistically new, but does not use it to belittle traditional forms. It respects differences but does not play off different generations and artists, specific genres, different audiences against each other. He appreciates the successful and is merciful to bona fide mistakes; he is brave enough to take on struggles and failures in the interests of progress.”
In 2007, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Kecskemét Animation Film Festival, and this year the same festival is paying tribute to his life’s work.