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Filming in Hungary: Blog

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Hungarians in Hollywood: Then and Now.

zita kisgergely

It’s been so long since a Hungarian film won an Oscar. About an entire year! Of course we can’t let the week go by without sending a hearty congratulations to the short “Sing,”  by Hungarian director and Academy Award winner Kristof Deak. We did a post about the film a few weeks back, so we won't plagiarize ourselves by repeating the same information, but rather honor the win by mentioning a few other notable Oscar winners of days gone by.

It comes as a surprise to a lot of people outside of Hungary just how many prominent film professionals, be they writers, directors, cinematographers or actors, are Hungarian or of Hungarian extraction. There’s a lot of them, from Oscar winning screenwriter Géza Herceg (The Life of Emile Zola) to Mephisto director István Szabó. But none of the culture from which the Academy grew might have been possible were it not for Hungarian Adolph Zukor, founder of one of the world’s largest and most influential film studios: Paramount.  Zukor was known as the “father of the feature film in America” due to his ambitious take on film-making and support for longer film formats.

An immigrant to the United States at age 16, he began his career in a poor section of New York City as an upholsterer. The World’s Fair in Chicago brought him farther west, where he started a fur business, which boomed. He was already a wealthy man a decade later when he partnered with a relative and began distributing films. From there he began to produce, eventually opening his own studio. Known as a studio head with an eye for spotting talent, Zukor signed actors like Rudolph Valentino and Mary Pickford, both of whom would become Hollywood icons. Paramount boomed for decades before weathering bankruptcy, economic depressions, and dwindling theatrical revenues, though it never stopped making films and attracting talent. Zukor stayed with the studio for all its unrest, and held the title of Chairman Emeritus until his death in 1976.

Zukor passed away at the age of 103, a long way from his hometown of Ricse, Hungary. But not before he won his own Oscar, a special lifetime achievement award for his service to film.

Flatpack Films is based in Budapest, Hungary. We are a film company that offers an inspiring and professional work atmosphere for our local and international clients. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast, and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we facilitate, we do to highest standard possible.