Lívia Gyarmathy is one of the greatest figures of Hungarian cinema. Even her first film, Do You Know Sunday-Monday? (Ismeri szandi-mandit?), was well-perceived both by the audience and the critics. The film, starring local legends Ila Schütz, Margit Dajka and Manyi Kiss is still a classic and repeatedly screened. The effects of the political changes of 1989 are pictured in Rapture of Deceit, starring Rita Tushingham. Besides her fine feature films she is also well-known for her documentaries, like the touching The Stairs (1994) or the European Film Award Winner Our Stork from 2000.
One of the best European cinematographers was the congenial partner of the legendary director Krzysztof Kieslowski. He photographed films like the Three Colors: Blue, The Double Life of Véronique (La double vie de Véronique), A Short Film About Killing (Krótki fi lm o zabijaniu), Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down or the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He was part of Kieslowski’s greatest successes, photographed fourteen films by Krzysztof Zanussi and worked with the bests in Hollywood as well. In 1991 he was awarded as Best Cinematographer at the Venice Film Festival and in 2002 he was nominated for the Academy Award.
He made his debut in Cannes with the film The Round-Up (Szegénylegények) in 1966 after which he directed masterpieces of modern cinema like The Red and the White (Csillagosok, katonák), Red Psalm (Még kér a nép) for which he won the Best Director Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1972. His unique and original film language is in complete harmony with the message of the movies. In his works the art seeks to find the springs of action of historical traumas. His genius influenced great figures of cinema like Martin Scorsese, Béla Tarr and Bernardo Bertolucci.
Born in Warsaw, Agnieszka Holland has been a border-crosser” since the beginning of her career: she studied directing in Prague, and, following the success of her first film, Provincial Actors, and the state of emergency, she immigrated to Paris. She received her first Academy Award nomination for Angry Harvest, and the second one for Europe, Europe (1990) – which has won the award for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes. She made her first US film, The Secret Garden in 1993, was the first one to trust Leonardo DiCaprio with a serious role, that of the poet Rimbaud, in the movie Total Eclipse. During her career, she filmed Henry James’ novel, Washington Square (starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Albert Finney), and also co-wrote the Three Colors: Blue. She is the president of the European Film Academy.
The Academy Award winner director started his career with movies like the Age of Illusions (Álmodozások kora), Father (Apa) or Love Film (Szerelmesfilm), after which he became master of spectacular historical tableaux: Mephisto , Colonel Redl and Hanussen made him one of the best directors of the world. All these three films picture a typical Central European characters and all of them were represented by Klaus Maria Brandauer. István Szabó said something fundamental about the connection of 20th century power, politics and art. After the Sunshine (1998) he worked on adaptations like the Taking Sides (2001), Relatives (2006) or The Door (2012) that, similar to his earlier work, analyze the relationship between the individual, the power and the audience.
Vilmos Zsigmond is a European cinematographer – maybe this was his key to success in America. His European sensitivity got appreciated when, at the beginning of the 1970s when a new generation of directors created New Hollywood. The 1956 Hungarian emigré, who had the European cinema culture at his fingertips, was the right man on the right place - and became the cinematographer of the greatest directors: Robert Altman, Michael Cimino, John Boorman, Brian De Palma, and Steven Spielberg. The Close Encounters of the Third Kind brought him the Oscar in 1977. One year later, his next movie, The Deer Hunter, won five Oscars, including Best Picture. He was nominated for the Oscar in 1985 and in 2007 as well. In 1999 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).
She was Claudia, Marcello Mastroianni’s – that is Guido, the director - love in the 8½; Angelica, Alain Delon’s – that is Tancredi Falconeri – love in The Leopard. Venus, Jean-Paul Belmondo’s love in the Cartouche. Jill, the dream of all men, in the Once Upon a Time in the West. Ginetta, in the Rocco and His Brothers. Gabriella, in The Immortal Bachelor. Molly, Klaus Klinski’s partner in Fitzcarraldo. Doroteia in Manoel de Oliveira’s last film Gebo and the Shadow. So: simply she is la diva assoluta of the European cinema, the muse of Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Werner Herzog, Sergio Leone and Claude Lelouch.
One of the most prominent figures of Hungarian cinema. His long career can only be described in superlatives: he made – as his first film – one of the best Hungarian comedies, Liliomfi (1954) and, simply, some of the best Hungarian films ever. He worked with the bests: György Illés, János Tóth, Ferenc Széchenyi, Tibor Déry, István Örkény, Péter Bacsó – to name only a few of his colleagues, the best cinematographers and writers of the country. The takes and faces of The House Under the Rocks (1958), The Obsessed Ones (1961), The Paradise Lost (1962), Love (1971), A Very Moral Night (1977) or Another Way (1982) present dozens of destines and stories, events of the Hungarian past and present: real personal stories and histories. We form a connection with our country through films, pictures and actors like those of Károly Makk’s. But these films are not only memorable for the local audience but also brought worldwide success for him. He told some stories that could only be made here, but are universal in their uniqueness; they speak to everyone and understood by all. The 1955 Cannes world premiere of Liliomfi and the screening of the re-mastered Love in 2016, in Cannes Classics program frame a great international career, the Prix du Jury for the Love (1971), the Academy Award nomination for Cats’ Play (1972), films with stars like Christopher Plummer, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and others. And the Hungarian actors and their unforgettable faces: Iván Darvas, Marianne Krencsey, Mari Törőcsik, György Pálos, Irén Psota, Ferenc Bessenyei, Margit Makay, György Cserhalmi, Margit Dajka or Elma Bulla. Hail to Károly Makk!