Speaking in Berlin this week, Hungarian film commissioner and troubleshooter Andy Vajna has responded to criticisms from members of the Hungarian Filmmakers’ Association (led by Bela Tarr) that film artistry and culture is being stifled under the film regime he now heads.
“They want to handle the money themselves,” Vajna suggested of the Association. “It’s all about the money even though it has become a political platform for them.”
Vajna also questioned the timing of the criticisms. “We just started…give it a chance to work and then you can object a year later that we haven’t done it right.”
The Commissioner emphasized that developing new Hungarian filmmaking talent is a key priority. He noted that two of the first four films the new Film Fund has supported are from first-time filmmakers.
Vajna also insisted that his own taste alone didn’t determine which films are supported by the new Fund. Each script (he said) goes to at least 12 people before a decision is made whether or not to support it.
“I am sure there is going to be a lot of mistakes we are going to make because we are growing and developing…we are trying really to be supportive,” Vajna said of the new Fund, which has just started investing in new projects.
The Film Fund has received over 130 applications from filmmakers since it opened for business.
The commissioner revealed that The Fund is establishing a “Film Office” to smooth the paths of international producers coming to shoot in Hungary.