The Hungarian Academy of Arts (MMA) and the Methodological Research Institute (MMKI) announced have launched a site to serve as a lexicon of Hungarian film to help disseminate knowledge and be used in education as well. The head of the lexicon’s editorial board, Gábor Gelencsér, stated that all film genres – except for TV films – have been included, not just feature films. The primary focus in selecting films to include was aesthetics, but consideration was given as well to social and historical attributes.
The site already has hundreds of articles. When complete, there should be pieces written on 300 feature films, 75 documentaries, 30 short films, 25 experimental films, 10 educational films and 50 animated films. There will also be video clips and photos alongside each article. The first film presented in the lexicon is Sándor Góth’s 1912 work and Hungary’s first full-fledged feature film, “Bitter Love” (“a Keserű szerelem”). Béla Zitkovszky’s “Dance” (“A táncza”) was made in 1901, but nothing save a few photos are left of this work. Sadly, the next decade was a hugely productive time in Hungarian film, but, according to those behind the work of the lexicon, most of these films have been lost or destroyed.
Still, many decades of brilliant Hungarian filmmaking were yet to come, an era now preserved through this project. Gergely Tamás Kucsera, Secretary General of the MMA, has stated that “MMA’s important task is to promote Hungarian cinematography, and in this respect, selections of the most important Hungarian films have been presented in several genres.”
The secretary also noted MMA’s work in sponsoring film festivals, film events and awards, as well as its work in the restoration of Hungarian films.