From 21st to 26th September, the National Film Institute is organizing – for the fourth time – Budapest’s largest international film event, Budapest Classics Film Marathon. During the six days of the festival, audiences can watch more than 70 recently restored classic films in five themed blocks at various venues around the capital. To the delight of Budapesters, the square in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica is once again being transformed into a free open-air cinema on four evenings.
National Film Institute celebrates 120 years of Hungarian film with several large-scale events this year. The Hungarian Motion Picture Festival was brought to life this summer, the exhibition Wide Angle in Ludwig Museum is a broad-ranging overview of Hungarian film history (open until mid-November 2021), and the opening gala of the 4th Budapest Classics Film Marathon in Uránia National Film Theatre on the evening of 21 September is similarly a celebration of this important anniversary. At the gala there will be a screening – in a selection made up Lumière films from 1896 – of the first film footage shot in Hungary; an animation documentary made about the birth of the first Hungarian film, A táncz (The Dance), and the digitally restored (2K) version of Sándor Korda’s cult silent film from 1918 Az aranyember, with musical accompaniment composed by Bence Farkas and performed by Győr Philharmonic Orchestra.
“This year is very special because we have the opportunity to celebrate several anniversaries that are important from the aspect of the history of Hungarian film. Cameramen of the Lumière brothers shot the first footage in Hungary 125 years ago, the first directed Hungarian film debuted 120 years ago, and 90 years ago Hungarian sound film was born, the first triumph of which, Hyppolit, a lakáj (Hyppolit, the Butler), remains enormously popular even after the passage of nine decades. In 2017, when we launched the Budapest Classics Film Marathon, we undertook to showcase Hungarian film history, the impact of Hungarian filmmakers on global film history, and the great classics of universal film history on the big screen. To achieve this goal, we called on the family of international film archives, which since then have continuously sent their restored precious films to the Film Marathon. This year, we are once again inviting all lovers of cinema on an exciting journey through time from the era of silent films to recent decades, thus paying tribute to the talent of great filmmakers and artists.”
– György Ráduly, Director of National Film Institute Hungary – Film Archive
The goal of the Classics Film Marathon is to spotlight the values of Hungarian film and present the treasures preserved in European archives to a Hungarian audience. This year the Marathon showcases newly restored classics and film rarities in five blocks: Hommage, In Focus, Hungarians in Hollywood, Hungarian Eye, Open Archives.