Location: Europe 2012 - Hungary

Hungary’s film czar — Budapest-born Hollywood producer Andy Vajna — is making headway implementing a new system of public film finance after the collapse of the much-criticized old model amid economic and political turmoil.

He is also working with the government to ensure that Hungary’s popular 20% tax incentive program for foreign co-productions, which relies on a third-party Hungarian tax-paying company as an investor, continues to function.

“I’d like to see a simpler way to ensure that tax rebate gets to those who can expect to get it; that is not a problem at the moment, but with the recession hitting profits for local companies, I am exploring ways that government corporations can also play a part in this system,” Vajna says.

The “Rambo” producer has persuaded the right-wing government of Viktor Orban to write off bad debts totalling $7 million owed by producers given loans under the old Hungarian Motion Picture Public Foundation.

Vajna now sees his key challenge as ensuring a system that enshrines public funding for both arthouse and commercial projects works as smoothly as possible.

Although government austerity measures have been hitting public sector workers hard, Vajna says so far the film industry has escaped unscathed.

“We’ve been fortunate — the government sees film as an important promotional tool. It wants to develop the talent in Hungary, which has been very substantial in the past.”

Studios & facilities
Key facilities include Korda Studios outside Budapest, Raleigh and Stern in the city, along with former state studio Mafilm and rookie Astra Film Studio.

Post & vfx
Post-production facilities can be found at Raleigh Studio’s FotoKem and also Budapest’s Colorfront, which has been lauded internationally for its Autodesk Lustre color grading system; Fox, Gyar and Digital Apes are also popular with international productions.

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