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Hungarians in Hollywood – A Claim to Fame

Los Angeles – The 8th Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles, running 15-23 October 2008, has officially opened its doors tonight at Wilshire Boulevard’s Fine Arts Theater. Presented by Bunyik Entertainment, this one-week showcase of Hungarian films is the newest shining star on the skies of the 2008 Hollywood film scene.

As Sir Alexander Korda once said, “It is not enough to be Hungarian; you must have talent as well”. Well, concerning the film industry, Hungarians sure have some talent since if it were not for the Hungarians, Hollywood certainly would not be the same today. William Fox, Adolf Zukor, Tony Curtis, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Vilmos Zsigmond were just few of the many talents that Hollywood received from Hungary, but the list goes on and keeps expanding year by year.

Promoting Hungarian films in a city as diverse as Los Angeles, each year the festival has great success and it will surely be no other way this year, with the new “Hungarians in Hollywood” theme in effect. According to the theme, other than screening new Hungarian films at Laemmle’s Sunset 5, several others that have some Hungarian involvement will be presented: films – such as “Casablanca” by Michael Curtiz (Kertész Mihály) or “Evita” produced by Andy Vajna – that were either directed, written, produced, shot or had their music composed by Hungarians.

Adding to the festival’s worth will be a complementary Miklós Jancsó retrospective to be held at the LA County Museum of Art October 17 through 24. One of Hungary’s most emblematic directors, Jancsó has been in the industry since the 1950s, and throughout this one week at LACMA movie lovers will get the opportunity to view four of his most famous films.

Tonight’s opening film was the 2008-made feature film by József Sipos, “Eszter’s Inheritance”. Based on Sándor Márai’s classic of the same title, the beautifully composed and photographed film with an outstanding cast of actors takes place in pre-World War II Hungary. Having been in competition at the 2008 Montreal World Film Festival, it has now arrived to please the Los Angeles audiences. It is a film about themes universal to our lives: unfulfilled love, affection, and life itself. The protagonist, Eszter, living with her faithful servant at her countryside mansion is a woman of little expectations concerning the future. One day, however, she receives a telegram from the only man she has ever loved and her life changes for good.

In addition to “Eszter’s Inheritance”, viewers will have the chance to see 13 other new Hungarian feature films such as “Delta”, this year’s winner of the FIPRESCI award at Cannes, or “Iska’s Journey”, the official Hungarian entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008.

Films are the best ambassadors of a country and the 8th Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles is sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Consulate General of Hungary in Los Angeles, and the Hungarian Film Union.
by Brigitta Bokor

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For more information about the festival, go to
For more information on the Miklós Jancsó retrospective, go to

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