Hungarian gov’t funds 3 pix projects

Seasoned and new helmers get coin

BUDAPEST — Less than two months after a massive reorganization, Hungary’s state film-financing sector has greenlit its first three projects.

This week, the Hungarian Film Fund announced that the productions “Liza, a rokatunder” (Liza, the Fox Fairy) and “A nagy fuzet” (The Notebook) will both receive 150 million forint ($635,736), while “Zero” will receive $42,382.

The selections appear to underscore the strategy of the fund to support proven veterans and at the same time cultivate new talent. “The Notebook” will be directed by seasoned director Janos Szasz, whose previous releases include “Witman Boys” and “Woyzeck”; and “Zero” is being produced by highly regarded local filmer Gabe Dettre. While “Liza” will be the first feature of director Karoly Ujj Meszaros.

The selections also underscore the determination of fund head Andrew Vajna to promote projects with strong narrative arcs and compelling characters. A coming-of-age story taking place in WWII Hungary, “The Notebook” is an adaptation of the French-language bestseller “Le Grand Cahier.”

All three projects have sealed international partnerships. “Liza” will be Hungary’s first co-co-production with a Danish company; “Notebook” will be co-produced by Hungary’s Hunnia Filmstudio, Germany’s Intuit Pictures, France’s Dolce Vita Films and Austria’s Amour Fou.

And “Zero” has already received support from the Czech Film Fund Germany’s Mitteldeutsche Medienforderung.