Showcase of local films reskedded for April

LONDON — Hungary’s annual showcase of national film is to go ahead in April after a financial crisis forced the cancellation of its usual early February date.

Public film finance body, the Hungarian Motion Picture Public Foundation (MMKA), which last month pulled the rug from beneath the Hungarian Film Week after parliament slashed its budget by two thirds to $4.8 million, said the 42nd edition would go ahead after successful negotiations with the Ministry of National Development and a national cultural fund.

Details of the festival dates, lineup and venues are expected to made public by Feb. 15, MMKA said in a statement.

Eva Vezer, head of Filmunio, Hungary’s international film promotion body, welcomed the decision. The film week was a key opportunity for international festival programmers and critics to see the latest Hungarian features and documentaries, she said.

She added that some of the titles that would have screened had the film week gone ahead in early February would be made available on DVD to festival programmers, and the press during the Berlin Film Festival next month.

Filmunio would play a full role at the European Film Market during the Berlin festival, Vezer said, but added that anticipated cuts in the organization’s budget for 2011 would likely reduce the number of international events it would attend in the coming year.

Public film funding in Hungary remains in a state of flux after a parliamentary decision last month to divert money away from the MMKA and instead channel funds through two ministries: the Ministry of National Development, which was allocated $9.5 million, and the Ministry of National Economy, which got $3.8 million.

There is talk that Hungarian-born Hollywood producer Andrew Vajna will be put in charge of distributing the new Ministry of National Economy film fund.

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