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Magyar studio eyes May bow

Facility could boost Budapest film industry

BUDAPEST — Hungary’s Korda Filmstudio development, touted as one of the most sophisticated film factories in Central Europe, will begin technical testing in March and will open for business in May, studio chief Laszlo Krisan says.

Developed by Hungarian real estate giant Trigranit, the studio is expected to launch under budget. Originally estimated to cost E150 million ($195 million), the final $130 million facility “will have time, space (on the lot), and budget to expand later if necessary,” Krisan tells Variety.

Industry analysts point out the six-stage studio, which includes a massive 62,969-square-foot soundstage that can be used as a water tank (with windows at various levels for underwater shots), is equipped to accommodate major studio productions, and could increase the Budapest film industry’s competitive edge against Prague, a favorite of many U.S. producers.

Another water-capable soundstage is a 41,000-square-foot facility that can be filled in as little as four days.

The studio was the brainchild of Hungarian real estate mogul Sandor Demjan. Budapest-born indie producer Andrew Vajna has provided advice on the studio’s services and has been the facility’s main link to Hollywood.

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