Vet helmers dominate Magyar fest

The emphasis will be on experience in the 25th Magyar Film Week, Hungary’s annual feature film and documentary festival, which begins Saturday and runs through Feb. 9 in the Danube capital.

In a departure from last year’s festival, the majority of the movies slated for the five days of screenings will be the work of veteran Hungarian filmmakers.

That’s not by design, according to event organizers.

Frosh filmmakers

“This year we have less first-time filmmakers,” festival organizer KatalinVajda said. “I don’t think there is any special reason for this. It’s just that last year we had so many first directors.”

Seasoned Magyar helmers slated to participate include Andras Jeles, who will screen his long-awaited Holocaust chronicle “Why Wasn’t He There”; Marta Meszaros, who brings her the feminist drama “Mother for Rent”; Geza Beremenyi with “On the Road”; and Gyula Maar with “Balkan! Balkan!”

Young talent will not be completely absent from the festival. Up-and-coming helmer Gabe von Dettre will premiere the feature “The Actress and Death” and director Janos Szasz will offer audiences a Magyar version of the old German drama “Woyzeck.”

Not a bad thing

Although youngsters like Szasz and von Dettre will be a minority in the fest, this is not necessarily a bad thing. According to analysts, that more veteran Hungarian helmers are making movies these days is a sign that Magyar filmmaking is beginning to recover from the dislocation that has rocked the industry since the collapse of communism four years ago.

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