International Film Fest to Celebrate 110 Years of Hungarian Animation

  • 18 Jun 2024 7:43 AM
  • Hungary Matters
International Film Fest to Celebrate 110 Years of Hungarian Animation
The Annecy International Animation Film Festival will mark 110 years of Hungarian animation in 2025, the organisers said. The festival will give a “360-degree panorama” of the history, industry, training and contemporary producers of Hungarian animation, artistic director Marcel Jean said at the award gala of this year’s event.

This year’s festival featured László Csáki’s Pelikan Blue and Viktória Traub’s Shoes and Hooves. Palme d’Or and Cristal Prize-winner director Flóra Anna Buda sat on this year’s jury.

As earlier reported:

110 Years of Hungarian Animation – A Tribute to a Rich Legacy

Marking a significant milestone, the National Film Institute of Hungary has declared 2024 as the commemorative year to celebrate 110 years of Hungarian animation.

This announcement was made on February 4, 2024, coinciding with the birthday of Gyula Macskássy, revered as the pioneer of Hungarian animation.

Throughout this year, audiences can anticipate a variety of special events and surprises dedicated to this vibrant aspect of Hungarian cultural heritage.

The journey of Hungarian animation traces back to 1914 with István Kató-Kiszly, a 19-year-old graphic artist, who created “Zsirb Ödön,” a cartoon that has since been lost to time. This initial foray set the stage for the establishment of a rich tradition in animation in Hungary.

The 1930s marked the beginning of regular animation film production with the founding of the Coloriton commercial film studio in Budapest by János Halász, Félix Kassowitz, and Gyula Macskássy.

Despite the challenges posed by the Second World War and the exodus of many talents, Macskássy‘s efforts ensured the continuity of domestic animation production.

The subsequent decades saw the creation of numerous beloved animations that garnered international acclaim, including “Johnny Corncob,” “Matty the Gooseboy,” “Cat City,” and the “Hungarian Folk Tales” series. Notably, “Fly” by Ferenc Rófusz, won an Oscar Prize in 1980, marking a significant achievement for Hungarian cinema.

The 21st century continued this legacy with films like Géza M. Tóth’s “Maestro,” Milorad Krstić’s “Ruben Brandt, Collector,” and Áron Gauder’s “The District!”

These productions have not only achieved cult status but also received prestigious awards, demonstrating the ongoing vitality and creativity of Hungarian animation.

A key contributor to the current success of Hungarian animation is the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME), which has become a prominent institution for nurturing new talent.

Works produced in the MOME Anim workshop and by its graduates continue to be featured at leading international festivals.

In recognition of this rich history, the National Film Institute Hungary‘s digital restoration program is focusing on animation, ensuring that classic works can be enjoyed in exceptional quality.

Among the projects undergoing restoration are the works of animation pioneer István Valker, early Hungarian puppet animations, and films by György Kovásznai, marking his 90th birth anniversary.

This commemorative year will also see the launch of a dedicated website on Hungarian Film Day (April 30), offering an innovative exploration of the country’s animation film history.

Additionally, an 11-part documentary series is in production, and Hungarian animation will be prominently featured at the Budapest Classics Film Marathon from September 17-22, celebrating this centennial milestone.



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