The National Film Institute (NFI) of Hungary has recently dissolved its independent Screenplay Development Directorate, a decision that has raised concerns within the Hungarian film industry. The move is in line with Csaba Káel’s new approach to centralize the film support system, which contrasts with the vision of the late Film Commissioner Andy Vajna.
The Screenplay Development Directorate, previously a key component of Andy Vajna‘s film support system, has now been integrated into the Production Support Directorate. This integration aims to create a more efficient system, covering the entire support process from screenplay development to financial accounting. However, the decision has sparked criticism, as some industry professionals argue that the centralization may hinder the development of specialized expertise in areas such as screenplay development.
The NFI has defended the decision by stating that the change in the composition of the decision committees is technical in nature, as they have recently opened a grant opportunity for the development of television film plans. As a result, they believe it is logical for a project’s decision-making process to be led by a professional who is not familiar with the project’s development process and can solely focus on the film plan when making funding decisions.
It is worth noting that screenplay development was a key priority for Andy Vajna, who considered it an essential part of the cultural mission of the Hungarian National Film Fund, the predecessor of the NFI. The dissolution of the independent Screenplay Development Directorate marks a significant departure from Vajna’s vision for the Hungarian film industry.