Hungary is a land of pure culture, one unforgettable in its cuisine, landscape, art, festivals, and even its thermal spas. It is no surprise then, that Oscar-winning movies have been filmed here, across genres, earning prestige. Here are seven notable works which were filmed in Hungary that happened to take home the respected golden statue.
Bladerunner 2049 (2017)
The first notable work is also the most recent. Apart from its remarkable script and universe, “2049” featured some of the best visual effects and standout cinematography in recent memory with regards to film; so much so that director of photography Roger Deakins was awarded an Oscar for his work. Visual effect artists John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, and Richard R. Hoover won a gold statue for their thoughtful and painstaking effort to bring this science fiction story to life.
The entire movie was filmed on six soundstages. Three of these soundstages are located at Origo Studios in Budapest, with the other three at Korda Studios in Eytek. An apartment building found in Budapest at the intersection of Szalay and Honved served as the filming site for protagonist K’s building of residence in-movie.
The Golden Compass (2007)
The star-studded adaptation of fantasy novel “The Golden Compass” saw the film shoot in multiple beautiful locations befitting of a story set in fantastical lands. Effect artists Michael L. Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris, and Trevor Wood won the Oscar for best visual effects. The movie was shot in Budapest.
Son of Saul (2015)
The academy award winning “Son of Saul” won the 2015 Oscar for best foreign language film. Taking place over two days, the move offers a glimpse into the life of Saul Auslander, a prisoner in Hungary who embarks on a dark, life-affirming mission. Filming was done all in Hungary, specifically Budafok, Budapest.
Nominated for best film editing, best cinematography, best art direction and best sound, “Evita”, a film based on the album of the same name, won an Academy Award for best original song (You Must Love Me). 23 locations in Budapest were used in Hungary. Interesting to note: these 23 locations were used for scenes that were meant to actually be Argentina. Some filming had been done in there, but was met with much controversy and backlash from Argentinians.
Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
“Cyrano de Bergerac”, based on the play from 1897, won an Oscar for best costume design. The period piece was filmed in both Hungary and France. The balcony romance scene, specifically, was shot at a studio interior in Budapest. The film’s Battle of Arras sequence was shot out in the open in Budapest as well.
“Son of Saul” was the second film to win an academy award for best foreign language film which was filmed in Hungary, but “Mephisto”, a tale of a German actor who grapples with his feelings from success due to certain circumstances, was the first. Like the other notable films on this list, Budapest served as the site for multiple of the movie’s scenes, but the theatre scene, in particular, was shot in Kecskemét. The movie won best foreign language film at the 1981 Academy Awards. Interesting fact: it was/is the highest grossing Hungarian film in the USA, coming in at $3.9 million earned.
Another esteemed film, this one a short, was filmed in Hungary in 2015. “Mindenki” tells a story (based on real life events) of a girl’s plight in 1991 Budapest when she joins her prestigious school’s choir.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a country as rich in culture as Hungary would see movie production done on such a regular basis. Outside of these award-winning films, Hungary has been the site for many a film production. In fact, there are hundreds of other productions and projects that have flocked to Hungary in order to make a remarkable film. That in of itself should be indicative of the attractiveness of the country.