Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles


The aim of the Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles was each year to take a thorough look and highlight the richness of Hungarian cinema. This was the official site for the 2012 Hungarian Film Festival which many consider to be the best ethnic film festival in Los Angeles.
Content is from the site's 2012 archived pages.

The current website for the Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles is found at:


The 12th Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles is organized in collaboration with The Consulate General of Hungary in Los Angeles and the Magyar Filmunió/International Divison of the Hungarian National Film Fund will be held:
November 15-22, 2012.
Laemmle’s Noho7
5240 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, 91601

Festival Highlights

JUST THE WIND by Bence Fliegauf, Hungarian entry for the Academy Awards
Director Bence Fliegauf will attend November 15  7pm screening
THE DOOR by Academy Award winner Istvan Szabo with Helen Mirren
THE TRAGEDY OF MAN animation by Cannes Palme D’Or winner Jankovics Marcell

Hungarians In Hollywood Career Award will be presented to film director Gyula Gazdag



“The Hungarian Film Festival is without a doubt the best ethnic film festival in Los Angeles. It is well programmed and well produced. I can not think of a better way in which to promote Hungarian cinema in Hollywood.”
GREGORY LAMMLE …Lammle Theaters

“The opportunity for film enthusiasts to see Hungarian films, exchange ideas and generate
relationships in the entertainment community are just the beginning of the positive benefits that stem from the Hungarian Film Festival. This festival provides an opportunity for Hungarian filmmakers to voice their passion for storytelling through the beauty of film. “An American Rhapsody”, a film by Hungarian Eva Gardos, was the International Grand Prize winner of the Hartley-Merrill Screenwriting Competition, but it was the Hungarian Film
Festival that allowed Eva to share her voice with the rest of the world.”

“The festival has made it possible to meet and converse with Hungarian directors, writers and actors and be exposed to films we would ordinarily not see. Hollywood can be quite insular. We need the Hungarian Film Festival to enrich our cultural scene.”
IRVIN KERSHNER … Film Director/Producer

In loving memory
“Congratulations Bela on your Fourth Annual Hungarian Film Festival in Los Angeles. You’re the best Hungarian Ambassador for introducing Hungarian Film-makers & their films to Hollywood. All the best.

“The Hungarian Film Festival in Los Angeles has been a very important event. I’m thanking Bela Bunyik (Bunyik Entertainment) for there excellent presentation and to keep reminding the public that the Hungarians are still among the Best Movie makers in the world!”

“The Hungarian Film Festival never fails to delight. I look forward to seeing old friends and new emerging talent. The quality of Hungarian film making is of the highest order.”

“The Hungarian Film Festival presents to the Los Angeles community new and rare Hungarian films. I have been especially enriched by meeting director colleagues, Karoly Makk and Janos Szasz. My praise to Bonnie and Bela Bunyik for their tireless and wonderful work bringing the festival to us.
DAISY GERBER…. Film Director

“I have seen some amazing films every year at the Hungarian Film Festival – Some made me laugh, some cry – but all memorable– This is an event in L. A. that all film lovers should not miss!!”
EVA GARDOS… Film Editor/Director

“Each year I look forward to the Hungarian Film Festival. The only venue in Los Angeles where one can see the best and the latest films from Hungary. Often I take my entire class and meet in a nearby café afterwards to discuss the film we just saw. Bela Bunyik’s tireless efforts always pays off when lines form around the theater to purchase tickets. The appreciative audience is always unique since it includes not only the local Hungarian community, but people from the film industry, academic students & the general film going public. Keep doingIt Bela!”
GABOR KALMAN … Professor USC School of Cinema

“There is such a sense of anticipation, hope and joy for me at the thought of the Hungarian Film Festival. I get so excited to feel part of “the family” again, to feel the beat of Hungary, to keep abreast of my people, my country, my peers, and to meet and talk to visiting Hungarians or local Hungarians, or others who simply love and appreciate the Hungarian film industry as much as I do. I wish more people would share this energy with me and come participate. Hungary needs our support.”

“There would be no Hollywood without the contributions of great Hungarian artists and movie makers. The Annual Hungarian Film Festival has been re-Introducing our still great Hungarian artists to the American public. This service to all of us should continue creating new awareness of our nation’s artistry. Thank you for bringing us gems like the “Glamour” and its talented writer/director Frigyes Godros, among others.”
DR. ILDIKO F. CSETO … Attorney At Law

The Hungarian Film Festival is a once-a-year opportunity to catch the latest cinematic gems coming from Hungary, and to witness that the creative energy of Zukor, Fox, Curtiz and Korda lives on in the newest generation of Hungarian filmmakers.”




Patricia Cardoso is an award winning film director and producer. She is a graduate of the UCLA Film School, a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, an anthropologist from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, and former head of Sundance’s Latin American program. Among her awards are an Student Academy Award, a Fulbright Recognition for Excellence, an Smithonian Institute Recognition and two Director’s Guild of America Awards. Her directing credits include Real Women Have Curves, Deep Blue Breath, Lies in Plain Sight, Meddling Mom, The Air Globes and The Water Carrier.

ANNA DONLON (United States)

Gyorgy Gattyán's film career started with the creation of cartoons. Produce animated films for Magyar Folk Tales and Funeral Fun. He is a co-producer of an animated series made by Sandor Kanyadi. He is a co-producer of the 8-part World Without End television series, which runs great on American TV channels. In 2013, he was the executive producer of the American thriller, Open Grave.

Vera Mijojlic is the founder and director of SEEFest, the South East European Film Festival in Los Angeles. Over the past ten years she has built the festival from the grounds up and established it as the premier cinematic showcase where films from fifteen countries of South-East Europe are presented as an annual thematic snapshot of that turbulent region. Vera has collaborated with UCLA Film Archive and Austin Film Society as the curator for major film retrospectives in 2011 and 2012 of film treasures from South East Europe in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, and is currently working on a national tour Coast-to-Coast of landmark 60s short films slated for 2013. She worked on U.S. marketing for arthouse films by Raoul Ruiz, Anders Thomas Jensen, Giuseppe Tornatore and Raymond de Felitta, secured U.S. distribution for Slovenian, Greek, Albanian, Croatian films, produced several festival trailers, TV commercials, Los Angeles film premieres and award season screenings, and hosted and moderated filmmaker panels including four film business conferences. She is presently developing a mini-series optioned for TV production in the U.S. Prior to relocating to the U.S. in 1992, Vera worked as assistant to producers from international motion picture companies filming in ex-Yugoslavia such as the 20th Century Fox and Gaumont. She was the location manager for N.Y.-based Jalbert Productions during the location filming for the historic ’84 Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo. She began as a cultural reporter and film critic in Sarajevo, and holds a degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade.

CATHY MORETTI (United States)
Owner House Blend Inc Staging and Design Company 2005 to present Boston MA/Los Angeles CA. Designing, architecture and sets have always been a passion; being a foreign film buff has helped me broaden my perspective in design. Cambridge Art Association 2004 – 2010 Served as board member and president. Presided over annual fundraising gala each year– responsibilities included event design and theme, live and silent auction design, set stage and room design. Routinely participated in hanging art exhibitions. Over 20 years in the design industry, many years operating own company. Served as Board Member and President of Greyhound Friends, Inc – managed and designed various fund raising events annually. One of the original founders of Locke-Ober Children’s Christmas Project raising funds, designing and hosting annual party for anonymous families living with AIDS in Boston. Other interests include Art, Foreign Films, Horses, Gardening, Entertaining, Cooking, Travel and Greyhound Welfare and Advocacy. Education – URI and UMass Boston

GEZA SINKOVICS (United States)
He was born in Budapest, Hungary and worked at the Hungarian Television as a camera assistant and later as a cameraman on many documentaries and feature films. He came to the United States in 1982.

In a previous life, he apprenticed with a high tech cohort where he was exposed to many of the cutting edge disciplines of the new age of tech. Data science, DevOps, Big Data were all part of his training and he spent a good deal of time focusing on the development of legacy modernization tools, which enabled older systems to interact with newer processes and techniques for handling data. A far cry from film work, he claims it was a great experience which opened his eyes to the possibilities that tech offers, including those new techniques as applied to creative work in film and animation.

He attended the American Film Institute in 1983-84 and since he has been living in Los Angeles, California. His feature film credits as Director of Photography include: Delusion with Jennifer Rubin, Undertow a ShowTime movie with Lou Diamond Philips, The Crew with Vigo Mortinssen and The Last Seduction II. with Joan Severance which was filmed in Barcelona and Wales, UK. For parts of many years he was filming – on location in Lithuania – the TV series: The New Adventures of Robin Hood for Warner Brothers.

Back in Los Angeles, he photographed A Carol Christmas and The Long Shot for Hallmark Entertainment and recently completed a feature film, Metamorphosis with Christopher Lambert, filmed on location in Hungary, Austria and Germany. Besides a number of other feature films he has been involved with a few documentaries, some which were recognized at film festivals in Europe and in the U.S (Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan).

He is a member of the Hungarian Society of Cinematographers – HSC and the Digital Cinema Society




Must See


Out/In Tawaret
Posted on November 5, 2012 by bela
Out/In Tawaret (Ki/Be Tawaret) A Declaration of Love from Terezvaros, Budapest Hidden A Declaration of Love from Terezvaros, Budapest

Hidden desires, passions, crimes, investigations – just a little bit different from the norm.  A love triangle, or even a triangle with more than three sides.  Men and women.  Okay, two men, several women and more men add to the mix.  At first glance most them seem to be a bit odd.

A tired, middle-aged man, living a double life, who during the day works as a gynecologist at a curative spa bath and is a jazz musician at night.  How in the world could he cross paths with a young, naïve girl who is just starting out in life?  Our protagonists are not brave and at times feel like cowards, they feel ashamed, but they are fine with that.

Birth, death, rebirth.  The film’s music score reveals an abundance of music light and sad.  And what does Tawaret stand for?

Everything will be revealed in the film.

Festivals and Awards
2010 – Budapest Hungarian Film Week (in competition)
2010 – Budapest Hungarian Film Week
Best Actress: Éva Vica Kerekes


Magic Boys
MAGIC BOYS (North American Premiere)  November 16  9:30pm
Directed by Robert Koltai, Eva Gardos

When the world of male strippers and diamond smugglers collide the outcome is not what you’d expect. A comedy with European flair and gun-toting theatrics, ‘Magic Boys’ is chock-full of action and unremitting twists and turns. When two male strippers mysteriously disappear from outside his London club, Terence, a gruff and notorious diamond smuggler needs to find a replacement fast. His old colleague and former diamond man, Jack Varga, comes to the rescue offering up his own recruits and to be expected, Varga has ulterior motives. Enter the two misfits, David and Zoli who have just lost their jobs at the champagne factory, now under the ownership of Jack Varga. Through a hapless series of events, David and Zoli find a handwritten contract employing the “Magic Boys” for an irresistible sum of money. They arrive in London via private jet and soon realize the mess they’ve gotten themselves into: that the “Magic Boys” are in fact male strippers…


Stand Off
STAND OFF  November 18  9pm

Updated from a true event that took place some 15 years ago, STAND OFF follows five days in the lives of two brothers who hold a group of high school girls hostage in their dormitory and demand 400,000 Swiss francs and safe passage abroad from the authorities. The catch is that the gun-wielding adolesents are the sons of the local border-guard commander, who stands for everything they hate about the establishment….Special mention must go to the Hungarian director Istvan (Mephisto, Hanussen) who played a lone outsider, a doctor to gain entrance to the dormitory. His edgy performance is one of many high points in the exceedingly tense film.

“Stand Off” a film as suspenseful as Hitchcock and a devastating expression of Eastern European frustration.
Kevin Thomas -L.A. Times

A gripping drama “Stand Off” is an unusually “Westernized” Hungarian film. -Variety
Ever unpredictable, Gazdag once again proves himself one of Hungary’s most versatile talents…..
Derek Elley -International Film

Cast and Crew
Written and directed by Gyula Gazdag
Cast: Ary Beri, Gabor Svidrony, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz Tibor Bitskey, Istvan Szabo, Judit Pogany

Festivals and Awards
San Sebastian International Film Festival 1989
Best Actor – Ary Beri


The Angel of Budapest
Posted on September 21, 2012 by bela
The plot focuses on Ángel Sanz Briz, a Spanish ambassador in Hungary during World War II who helped to save the lives of thousands of jews from the Holocaust by lodging them in Spanisn safe houses in Budapest. There’s also a romantic storyline following the lovelife of Antal a Jew who falls in love with the daughter of an Arrow Cross official. He slowly turns to the resistance movement to save themselves.



November 18  7pm,   November 22  7pm
November 17  3pm

Kishorváth is preparing to direct his first film. The script is presently being considered by the Curators. The film plan tells the story of Kishorváth’s grandfather, who, in the 1960s, chose an unusual form of passive resistance after the Revolution of 1956. He and his companions formed an Indian tribe, wore moccasins, and withdrew from society. Their game was ruled by a strict code of ethics, upheld very seriously by the members of the tribe. But the Indians living alongside the Danube become suspicious to the otherwise paranoid ruling powers in the decade’s atmosphere of retribution. The tribe possesses strange weapons, communicates with each other in an incomprehensible manner, and the most threatening of all: they correspond and even meet with American citizens. Kishorváth’s film plan is welcomed with satisfaction by the majority of the Curators, but there is one individual among the judges who has family connections to the story as well, and is familiar with a completely different version of what might have happened. This prompts Kishorváth to continue his investigation into the past.



Just the wind
Posted on September 7, 2012 by bela
Laemmle NoHo7 November 15 7pm,  Director Bence Fliegauf will attend

Hungarian entry for Academy Award
Mari lives with her invalid father and two children in a shack in the woods outside the city. Their living conditions are modest, like their other Romani neighbors. For centuries, their “kind” has been commonly referred to as gypsies. Recently, more than ever, they must exist stealthily: five entire families in the area have already been murdered, gunned down in their own homes.
The Romani community struggles to continue their simple daily routine amid the anxiety of the suspected raciallymotivated crimes. Mari juggles her two jobs. Teenager Anna tries to concentrate on her schoolwork and sketches. But young Rio is preoccupied with other things. He is getting ready…
Inspired by real events.



The Exam
Posted on September 5, 2012 by bela
The Exam (A vizsga)  November 20  7pm
(2011, color, 89 min.)

Christmas Eve, 1957, Hungary: government secret agent Jung attempts to wrap up his assignments in time to celebrate the holiday. Little does he know that his superior, Marko, is about to initiate a Communist-mandated exam to test his loyalty. But might also Marko himself be given an exam? It would be unthinkable to reveal more of what happens in The Exam, an elegantly twisty suspense thriller that doubles as a skillful depiction of paranoia and suspicion in the wake of the failed 1956 Hungarian uprising. Plotted more tightly than most American thrillers (it clocks in at less than 90 minutes) The Exam is filled with well-drawn characters and handsomely filmed, with excellent use of period music.

“The Gold Hugo goes to THE EXAM (Hungary),
a film which combines the intricat e plotting of a Cold War secret agent thriller with the serious undercurrent concerning deeper issues of personal loyalty versus the police state; it exudes a quiet confidence, remarkable in a new filmmaker. Director: Peter Bergendy.”



Posted on September 5, 2012 by bela
Adventure (Kaland)  November 16 7pm, November 19 9pm
(2011, color, 85 min.)

Professor Péter Kádár is successful in all respects. He is at the top of his career and has a beautiful young wife, Anna. His perfect life; however, falls to pieces on the same day when he is appointed to the leadership of the most renown clinic.

The professor doesn’t suspect while being renowned that his trusted colleague, his adopted son, Doctor Zoltán prepares to run away with Anna. The promising adventure takes an unexpected turn and the professor makes a heavy bargain which modifies the life of all three.Love and death, faithfulness and betrayal, and success are playing out in the shadow of 1940 Budapest.

Based on Sándor Márai’s play of the same title
Showtimes: 11/16 7pm;  11/19 9pm


Last Rhapsody
Posted on August 10, 2012 by bela
November 17  7pm

The biographically-inspired film made in Hungarian-French co-production to crown the Liszt Year recalls the final days of Ferenc Liszt, a true celebrity of the 19th century, and his last love affair. It is based on the diary of Lina Schmalhausen.

In 1911, to mark the centenary of Ferenc Liszt’s birth and the 25th anniversary of his death, a Budapest theatre is preparing for the premiere of a play about the composer’s final days in Bayreuth. Suddenly a mysterious woman appears at one of the rehearsals, asserting that the play does not correspond to reality, that Liszt did not die in the manner known from various novels and recollections. The actors want to learn the truth, and so the woman reveals the painfully beautiful relationship between Liszt and one of his last students, Lina Schmalhausen, which lasted from the middle of the 1870s to his death.
The captivating film is set in three different periods of time – 1886, the year Liszt died,  the preceding ten years and 1911 –  in Bayreuth and Budapest. It also recalls Liszt’s friendship with Richard Wagner.

The Last Rhapsody is an exciting, fast-moving and heart-rending film rich with deep emotions. It recalls the final days in the life of one of history’s greatest composers and the eternal mystery of the relationship between artist and muse. It is a story of passionate love, death and immortality and of unconditional devotion.
The director brings Ferenc Liszt’s final days close to the audience, with both historical authenticity and emotion.

“The film-maker’s primary task is to entertain the public – at the highest standard that each requires. With this film viewers also learn about a tragic, concealed period of Ferenc Liszt’s life, the story of his unfortunate death and the tale of his last great love, as reflected in the meeting and passionate relationship of Artist and Muse.” Bence Gyöngyössy.

Festivals and Awards
2012 – Montreal The World Film Festival


The Door
November 15  9pm,  November 21 9:30pm
Istvan Szabo’s drama, set in Hungary in the 1960s, stars Helen Mirren as a maid and Martina Gedeck as a well-to-do novelist who form an unlikely bond.
Faultlessly directed with Old World taste and conviction by Istvan Szabo, The Door describes the unusual relationship between a well-to-do novelist and her poor, elderly maid. A showcase for the formidable acting talent of leads Helen Mirren and Martina Gedeck (The Lives of Others), this character-driven drama feels too traditional, however, to rally the audiences that Mirren’s performance, in particular, deserves.

Magda, a female writer struggling for success, employs an elderly woman called Emerence to be her housekeeper.
From their first encounter, it is clear that Emerence is no ordinary maid. Although everyone in the neighbourhood knows and respects her, no one knows anything about her private life or has ever been allowed to enter her home.
However, a dramatic event in the writer’s life prompts Emerence to unveil glimpses of her traumatic past – a past which sheds light on her very peculiar behaviour.

The Door brilliantly illustrates the bond as it develops between these two very different women and, ultimately, the tragic end of their relationship.


AWARDS: Hungarians in Hollywood

Hungarians In Hollywood Career Award will be presented to film director Gyula Gazdag

Born in Budapest, Hungary July, 1947
Degrees: DLA in the art of motion pictures at the Hungarian Academy of Drama, Film and Television Budapest, Hungary 1999
MFA in Film and Television directing at the
Department of Film and Television at the Hungarian
Academy of Drama, Film and Television Budapest, Hungary 1970

Gyula Gazdag is a screenwriter and director. He has won various awards for his films. He is also a professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Feature films:
A Hungarian Fairy Tale, winner of Best Feature Film of the Year of the Hungarian Film Critics and screened at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

Stand Off, winner of a Special Jury Prize at the San Sebastian Festival
Lost Illusions, winner of Best Screenplay at the Hungarian Film Week
Swap, Singing on the Treadmill, which was banned in Hungary for 10 years
The Whistling Cobblestone, which was banned from foreign exhibition for 12 years.
Package Tour was named one of the 100 best documentaries of all time by the International Documentary Association.

He has directed, among others, Candide, The Tempest and Tom Jones for the stage.

He serves as the Artistic Director of the Sundance Filmmakers Lab.
At Binger, Gazdag is usually part of the selection committee and works in the screenwriters and directors labs.

Films: 1997 A Poet on the Lower East Side (documentary); 1991 Hungarian Chronicles (Chroniques hongroises) (documentary); 1988 Stand Off (Túsztorténet); 1987 An Hungarian Fairy Tale (Hol volt, hol nem volt); 1984 Package Tour (Társasutazás) (documentary); 1982 Lost Illusions (Elveszett illúziók); 1979 The Banquet (A bankett) (documentary); 1977 Swap (A kétfenekű dob); 1974 Singing on the Treadmill (Bástyasétány hetvennégy); 1972 The Resolution (A határozat) (documentary); 1971 The Whistling Cobblestone (A sípoló macskakÅ‘); 1970 The Selection (A válogatás) (documentary)