Hungary has earned the title of one of Europe’s largest co-producing filmmaking countries. Csaba Káel answered a few questions.
Hungarian producers are aiming to reach an even wider audience than before with large-scale international co-productions, Csaba Káel, the government commissioner responsible for the development of the Hungarian film industry, was quoted as saying in an article published online by Screen international film magazine.
He recalled that the black-and-white silent film “A táncz” (“The Dance”) was made in 1901, and the country gave the world such renowned filmmakers as William Fox, Adolph Zukor, Michael Curtiz, and Alexander Korda. Hungary has now become one of Europe’s largest co-production centers and is seeking to enhance the international character of the local industry with new co-production and distribution strategies.
“For a Hungarian film, the local market means 10 million people. But if we co-produce with several European partners, we can potentially reach more than 100 million people,” said Csaba Káel. “We are a small country, but we can open up the world with our interesting stories,” he added.
The government commissioner pointed out that the Hungarian Film Institute will provide 51 million dollars in 2020 to support film production, and foreign producers can also apply for Hungarian funding through their Hungarian partners.
Hungary also offers a film tax rebate, which is popular with big-budget international productions that come for the locations and facilities, most recently Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune”.
Studios were open in Hungary during the crown-virus epidemic, and Csaba Káel is “putting the finishing touches” to a plan under which the National Film Institute will add four studios to the Fót studio complex to more than 12,000 square meters by 2022, the article pointed out.
“Film production has a rich tradition, we had several golden eras. We want film production to develop and continue this tradition,” the government commissioner said. “Central Europe and Hungary are some of the most interesting parts of the world. We want to show the world our life. Co-productions can be an excellent opportunity to expand the distribution of domestic films,” he added.
Csaba Kéel was also asked about Hungary’s plan to protect its filmmaking space, as neighboring countries have increased tax rebates:
“The Hungarian film industry set a record in 2019, as the budget for films produced in Hungary increased by almost 50%. To maintain Hungary’s leading position, we offer significant tax incentives, we are continuously developing local studios and a film-friendly environment, and we place great emphasis on professional film production and training for the next generation of filmmakers.”