Hungarian film industry becomes one of the strongest in Europe

2016 will be a record year in film production, given that some 85 billion HUF will have been spent in Hungary by Hungarian and foreign film crews this year

The government has made an amendment to the motion picture legislation to ensure the Hungarian film industry remains one of the strongest in Europe.

According to Csaba Dömötör, minister of state at the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, the goal is to turn Budapest into one of the strongholds of the European film industry, and the amendment of the motion picture legislation debated in Parliament on Wednesday serves this objective.

The politician highlighted that the government placed the subsidisation of film production on new foundations after 2010, and the results of these former decisions are beginning to emerge.

As he said, since the Hungarian National Film Fund was established, the capacity of the film industry has tripled, which means that the contribution of the film industry to the GDP is now the highest in Hungary among the EU Member States. The various tax benefits, too, have significantly contributed to this achievement.

Dömötör took the view that, thanks to the measures implemented in recent years, there are an increasing number of motion pictures produced at the highest industry standards, and the Hungarian films made under the new subsidisation regime have won more than 100 prestigious international awards, including Son of Saul (pictured) by the director László Nemes Jeles, which won the Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

"We believe it is important that the Film Fund supports a number of productions which are key to processing Hungary’s past, and it is likewise highly important that the viewing rate of Hungarian films in cinemas is continuously increasing," he added.

The minister of state believes that the legislative amendment debated today may further reinforce the system of training as a key priority is to enable Hungarian experts working in the field to take part in programs of the highest professional standards. To this end, a separate allocation has been created that is raised from the training contribution paid by film makers.

"In addition to creating cultural values, the film industry also boosts the Hungarian economy," Dömötör said, adding that according to expert calculations, every tax refund of 1,000 HUF increases the GDP by 3,240 HUF.

He added that the fact that more films are made in Hungary generates a significant amount of extra revenue for the country, and has major benefits from the respect of Hungary’s country image as well.

He highlighted that 2016 will be a record year in film production as expected, given that some 85 billion HUF will have been spent in Hungary by Hungarian and foreign film crews this year. This amount may reach as much as 170 billion HUF next year, in contrast to the fact that this sum was just 33 billion HUF in 2011.

"Hungarian film production has a history of 120 years, and consequently this, too, obliges us to look upon the reinforcement of the film industry as a national cause," he added.