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Bela Tarr flies Hungarian flag

Bela Tarr has made an impassioned plea on behalf of Hungarian film culture.

Tarr was speaking days after he announced the establishment of a new, independent film fund in Hungary by placing in it a symbolic 10 Euro banknote. This gesture was made at the end of the Hungarian Film Week, which Tarr led in his capacity as chairman of the board of the Hungarian Filmmakers’ Association. The Film Week (Feb 2-5) was staged independently, without Government support.
 
The revered filmmaker questioned whether the newly formed National Film Fund (under the stewardship of Andy Vajna) will support the full range of Hungarian film talent. “They (The Fund) opened only one window. Everyone who is thinking differently, everyone who has a different imagination – they have no chance,” Tarr said.
 
The Film Week featured works by 141 Hungarian film directors. 8 feature films, 50 documentaries, animation, experimental and short films were screened in the festival’s two cinemas, Urania and Toldi. 10,000 spectators attended the three day event.
 
Leading festival directors, among them Dieter Kosslick (the Berlinale) Thierry Frémaux (Cannes) and Alberto Barbera (Venice), supported a statement from the Association championing Hungarian film as “an organic part of national and European culture.”

“We have two ways. One way is sitting at home, crying and screaming…or we can try to do something,” Tarr said of the decision to move ahead with the Film Week in such adverse circumstances. “My mentality is always to try to do something. If I do not accept the world, I have to change the world.”
 
Tarr announced his retirement from directing after his last feature The Turin Horse (a Silver Bear winner last year with The Turin Horse) Will he reconsider? “My main project now is to a new film school in Split (in Croatia). This is my major job…I will try to produce some Hungarian cinema and the third job is this Filmmakers’ Association. I have three jobs. I am totally busy!”

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