György Szomjas, acclaimed Hungarian film director, died
György Szomjas, a Kossuth Prize-winning film director, died in the 81st year of his life, the Association of Hungarian Filmmakers told MTI on Thursday at the request of the family. The “Balázs Béla” Award-winning Outstanding Artist died on April 7 at his home among his loved ones.
The film association recalls that he created a genre in Hungary with his highly successful films György Szomjas – “Talpuk alatt fütyül a szél”, “Rosszemberek”, “Kopasz kutya”, “Falfúró”, “Könnyű vér”, “Roncsfilm”, “Csókkal és körömmel”, “Gengszterfilm”, “Vagabond”.
“Talpuk alatt fütyül a szél” the colorful Hungarian western film of György Szomjas, shot in 1975 and shown in 1976, the first Hungarian “eastern”.
He was an obsessed believer in the dance house movement and the perpetuation of authentic folk music. He was involved in it from the beginning and conveyed it authentically to the audience.
György Szomjas was born on November 26, 1940 in Budapest. He graduated first from the Faculty of Architecture of the Budapest University of Technology, and then from the College of Theater and Film Arts. Between 1969 and 1974, he worked as a member of the board of the Béla Balázs Studio (BBS), one of the initiators of the sociological film program. During this time, he made short films and worked as an assistant. He has been the Secretary General of the Association of Hungarian Filmmakers since 1995, and a member of the European Film Academy since 1999.
His films with an ironic tone, easy to understand, stabbed with witty dialogues – despite their deep content and very hard, serious sayings – have always been a great audience success. His rock film “Kopaszkutya”, is one of the most defining works of the 1980s.
He has been awarded several awards: the Film Festival Award (1984, 1986, 1990, 1993, 1995), the Golden Age Award in Brussels (1985), the Béla Balázs Award (1986), the Film Critics Award (1987, 1989), and the “B. Nagy László” Film Critics Award. He received the “excellent artistic” title in 1996. In 2005, he was awarded the Kossuth Prize (by the Hungarian Goverment, to acknowledge outstanding personal and group achievements in the fields of science, culture and the arts) for his consistent and continuous, high-art-filled feature films, which were successful for the audience, and for his work in the public art world.