A bullish Andy Vajna has hailed the work of the Hungarian Film Fund in galvanizing film production in the country and “cleaning up the mess” left after the dissolution of the debt-ridden Hungarian Motion Picture Foundation (MMKA).

Andy Vajna

The Terminator 3 and Die Hard With a Vengence producer also confimred he would stay at the helm of the Fund until at least 2018.

Holocaust drama Son Of Saul from young director Laszlo Nemes, riding high in Screen’s Cannes Competition critics’ poll, was developed and financed by the Fund. This follows on from the success another Fund-backed film, Kornél Mundruczó’s Un Certain Regard award winner White God enjoyed last year.

“We hope to continue trying to create films that provide interest for festivals and we are working very hard on create movies that work for audiences at home,” Vajna commented of the twin-pronged strtagey the Fund is pursuing.

“We have changed a little bit the world opinion about Hungarian cinema,” Vajna claimed.

Vajna was fiercely attacked by some leading figures in the local industry when he took up his job. He believes now he has won over some of the doubters. “I think they’ve changed their minds a lot. I know when I first got here, the question was “what the hell is he doing here…Hollywood comes to Hungary.” Now, it is “what are we going to if he leaves.”

The film community, Vajna continued, was “beginning to realise that we are not their enemy. We are there to support and help them.”

Speaking in Cannes, Hungarian Film Fund CEO Agnes Havas has confirmed there will be a Hungarian Film Week next year as well as a “Hungarian Film Awards,” to be organised by the Hungarian Film Academy. 

Lured by the 25% tax incentive, foreign productions are also continuing to come to Hungary. Such movies as Ridley Scott’s The Martian, Ron Howard’s The Inferno, a new Tom Cruise movie and Bourne 5 have all come or are set to come to the country.