Hungarian parliament debates film law

Film funding arrangements set to change

BUDAPEST — The Hungarian parliament is debating a new Film Law, which is expected to streamline the state’s film funding process.

Drafted by Hungarian-born Hollywood film producer Andrew Vajna, who was appointed a government commissioner to oversee industry reforms in January, the bill centers fund allocation out of a single office called the Hungarian National Film Fund, and will use revenue gained from one of two national lotteries for funding.

Eighty per cent of the lottery revenue will be devoted to domestic filmmaking.

The selection of projects to receive public support will be made by a five-member film board, which will review all submissions forwarded by a team of 14 readers. If selected by the board, projects can receive either script development or production funding, depending on whether full scripts or treatments were submitted for evaluation.

Under current arrangements, veteran film and TV industry professional Agnes Havas is the managing director and a board member of the Film Fund. Other board members include Vajna, screenwriter Reka Divinyi, producer Peter Miskolczi and academic Andras Balint Kovacs.

Marking a shift in the way film production may be viewed in Hungary in the future, the Film Fund will fall under the control of the National Industry Ministry, instead of the Ministry of Culture.

The bill could pass parliament as early as Friday.