BUDAPEST — As European cinema faces an uncertain future fueled by the global crisis, judges at the 40th Hungarian Film Week concluded the eight-day festival on Tuesday by giving director Aron Matyassy the Golden Reel award for his first feature “Lost Times.”
The story of the struggling inhabitants in a small Hungarian town in the late 1990s, the pic is viewed by many as a reflection of today’s malaise.
But in awarding best genre film to Gabor Herendi’s “A Kind of America 2,” the fest also gave symbolic support to Hungary’s beleaguered commercial film industry.
“A Kind of America” broke local box office records in 2002, and industry leaders are hoping its sequel will draw even more theatergoers.
Among a host of other awards, best director went to Peter Gardos for “Prank.”
Pater Sparrow’s “1,” which opened the fest, won best producer for Attila Csaky, plus visual design (Fruzsina Lanyi, Judit Varga and Pater Sparrow), editing (Wanda Kiss), and cinematography (Mate Toth Widamon).
International critics gave the Gene Moskowitz Prize to Viktor Oszkar Nagy for “Father’s Acre.”
People’s Choice Award went to Krisztina Goda’s “Chameleon.”
Andor Lukats received the actor prize for his roles in Janos Edelenyi’s “Prima Primavera” and Tamas Kemenyffy’s “Fluke.” Julia Ubrankovics won the best actress award for Peter Bacso’s “Virtually a Virgin.”
The 40th fest was conspicuous for its strong array of films shot during one of the worst economic years in memory.
Hungarian Motion Picture Foundation president Ferenc Grunwalsky paid lip service to the troubled times by admitting, “We don’t have the false belief that the global situation will make our lives any easier in the future.”
But announcements made during the fest bode well for 2009, and include a joint-production agreement between Hungary and Ireland to be signed during the Berlin Film Festival; and the completion of a major soundstage at Hungary’s Korda Film Studio, owned by Sandor Demjan.