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Budapest’s Origo Studios Marks Tenth Anniversary

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.08.12.

Budapest’s Origo Studios marked ten years in the filmmaking business at an event on Wednesday.

Csaba Káel, government commissioner for developing the local motion picture industry, said three big productions are currently underway at Origo Studios: director Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction film Dune; The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent (UWOMT), starring Nicolas Cage; and the ballet drama Birds of Paradise.

The pandemic has not shut down Hungary’s film industry, he said, noting measures taken in recent months to ensure steady work for the some 20,000 Hungarian motion picture professionals.

Currently, film professionals from the United States need to produce two negative Covid-19 tests before entering Origo Studios, Káel said. Crew members are tested at least once a week, but sometimes as many as three times a week, he added.

Káel noted that 43 international productions had been filmed at Origo Studios, including A Good Day to Die Hard, Inferno, Blade Runner 2049 and Terminator: Dark Fate, drawing stars such as Angelina Jolie, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Will Smith to the Hungarian capital.

Hungary’s 30 percent tax rebate for film productions, the pool of local film industry talent and the country’s natural and architectural spaces offer filmmakers outstanding opportunities, he said.

Image by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI

Last year, direct subsidies for the film industry came to 164 billion forints (EUR 475.4m), up by 49 percent from 2018, Káel said.

A Hungarian “Walk of Fame”, with the names of nine Oscar-winners, was inaugurated at the event. A wall with the names of 51 Academy Award winners with Hungarian roots was also unveiled, and a small exhibition honouring Paramount Pictures founder Adolf Zukor and Hollywood producer Andy Vajna was opened.

featured image: director Kristóf Deák speaking at the event; via Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI