Australian Films Hungarian Spirit

From the black and white film “The Voyage of a Migrant Ship”  to the state of the art online documentaries.

Australian Films - Hungarian Spirit

Date: 13 and 14 of June 2019.

Event: Art + Cinema at Budapest / Hungary

About the event

The inaugural event of the  Australian Movies - Hungarian Spirit provides a premier for the late Gusztav Kovacs’ black and white film The Voyage of a Migrant Ship. The man who died in Melbourne in 1969 was one of the founders of the Hungarian Film Industry. He was the cameraman on the earliest films of Alexander Korda (later to become the famous British film producer, director, and screenwriter) , those movies produced in their native country, Hungary. In 1950, after a time of political turmoil in Hungary, the then 55 years old Gusztav Kovacs emigrated to Australia.  He recorded that voyage with an ARRI 35mm camera and this film is one of the most important and rare documentation of the immigration period after World War II.  The footage is kept among the most precious pieces at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

The inaugural event of the  Australian Movies - Hungarian Spirit provides a premier to display the selected works of the active immigrant documentary filmmakers who were born in Hungary but have been living in Australia for decades. Ivan Gaal - who emigrated in 1957 to Australia, after the Hungarian Revolution was suppressed by the Soviet Army - arrived at 18 years of age, with basically nothing but a small suitcase. Now the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Australian Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) proudly preserve his works and keep approximately 50 (!) educational and documentary films on their archive shelves. Gabor Kukucska and Janos Zoltan are current immigrants. It is interesting to note that they had to change the order of their names in Australia (in Hungary the surname comes first and the first name comes second) but they always kept their Hungarian spirit alive. All of them are acknowledged independent filmmakers who have received national and international awards for their documentaries and through their work reflect a positive reputation back to their native country as well.

The inaugural event of the Australian Movies - Hungarian Spirit provides a rare opportunity to discover the filmmakers’ unique and profoundly different approach in their movies. They are standing somewhere in between “two worlds” and their thoughts and experiences are heavily influenced by the two countries’ cultures,  histories, customs, and ideologies. We have already invited special guests to the Festival who will be our talking partners and with their help, we will identify other gems of Literature, Music, and History that support the "indiscernible common ground" of Hungary and Australia.

The Location

The first cinema (Royal Nagymozgo) opened its doors on the corner of Erzsebet Circuit and Dob Street in 1912. For over 100 years this place has been continued to operate as a film theatre. It became ART + Cinema in 2015 mainly for quality and artistic movies. The two projection rooms are honored in the memory of the Hungarian filmmaker Mihaly Kertesz (Michael Curtiz) and the famous actor Bela Lugosi.

Address: Budapest, VII. Erzsébet krt. 39.


Phone: +36 20 410 7177

The Program

13th of June, Thursday

Afternoon program

5.30 pm - In memoriam Kovacs Gusztav. 

- The story of an immigrant filmmaker

- Extract from the documentary of THE DIVISION BELL OF HUNGARY

5.38 pm - Opening speech by Tamás Almási. He is one of the most well known and most successful Hungarian documentary film directors. He has been teaching filmmaking at the University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest since 1999. He received the highest Hungarian artistic distinction the Kossuth prize.

5.45 pm - Helen Simondson, the Head of the “Australian Centre for the Moving Image X”, comments on the role of the institute in the Australian Film Industry and the importance of preserving the works of filmmakers like Ivan Gaal for the future.

5.48 pm - On the stage is Ivan Gaal, film director. The interviewer is Janos Degi. (A short interview with Adrian Martin - well-known film critic - and another footage about Ivan at the photo exhibition in Canberra will be screened during the discussion.)

6.25 pm - Camberwell Junction

6.30 pm - Ibrahim

7 pm - Intermission

8.00 pm - The Punter

8.15 pm - C-2, No Escape from the Old Canoe

8.45pm - On the stage is Ferenc Mohacsi, the bronze medal winner at the Melbourne Olympics 1956. Conversation between Ivan Gaal, Gabor Marinkas, and Ferenc Mohacsi.

14th of June, Friday

Afternoon program

5.00 pm - Ivan Gaal's welcoming speech and a short introduction about the DOP's world of Laszlo Baranyai.

5.07 pm - Adam's Tallit

5.24 pm - Bloom

5.42 pm - Loop

5.52 pm - "Jump to the future" - On the stage is Gabor Kukucska, film director, producer, start-up founder. The interviewer is Ivan Gaal

5.55 pm - Children of Montessori

6.05 pm - Live It Love It

6.10 pm - Lambert 

6.17 pm - The Soldier of Love

6.25 pm - A surprise guest of INSPIREFLIX. Interviewer Gabor Kukucska

Evening program

8.00 pm - "Hungarian Spirit". On the stage is Janos Zoltan, film director, producer. Conversation between Ivan Gaal and Janos about identity, Hungarian and Australian Spirit and their cooperation in their works.

8.05 pm - A Man From The Other Side

8.14 pm - Seaside

8.20 pm - Secret Matters

8.40 pm - On the stage is Zsuzsa Rakovszky, writer, poet, and translator. She received the highest Hungarian artistic distinction the Kossuth prize. Conversation with Janos Zoltan about Gerald Murnane's and Zsuzsa Rakovszky's creative world, and their passion for writing and poetry.

9.45pm - The Australian Films - Hungarian Spirit is passing the baton to the next host of the following event in 2020.

During the two days of screening, there will be an exhibition of the memorabilia and publications of the filmmakers in the foyer.