Erzsebet Toth leaves after 14 years in job

TALLINN, Estonia — Erzsebet Toth, the head of Hungary’s public film funding body, is to step down at the end of the year after 14 years in job.

Toth, who has been general secretary of the Hungarian Public Film Foundation since January 1997 on a renewable four-year contract, announced her surprise decision in Budapest Saturday.

Credited with creating the professional consensus and broad political support that helped push through the Hungarian Film Act, which created the country’s generous movie tax incentives in 2004, Toth’s decision to step down comes at a time when the future of the film funding body is the subject of political debate.

Hungary’s parliament is expected to vote next week on a national budget that includes reducing the funding body’s budget and dividing public film funding between different agencies, including one that may be headed by Hungarian-born Hollywood producer Andrew Vajna.

In a statement Saturday to Hungarian News Agency MTI, Toth said: “It was my decision not to seek the renewal of my contract,” adding that she was grateful for having had the opportunity to have participated in the rebirth of the Hungarian film industry.

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