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Hungarian Producer Andy Vajna in Variety: “I Learned How to be a Real Producer, not Someone Doing it for the Numbers”

By Fanni Kaszás // 2018.01.08.

In a recent article, entertainment magazine Variety praised Hungary’s ‘buoyant’ film industry and now they have recalled their first interview with Andy Vajna, Hungarian Film Commissioner and well-known American-Hungarian Hollywood producer.

Vajna, who recently made Variety’s 500 most influential entertainment leaders and icons list as the only Hungarian, was first interviewed by the magazine in 1974 when they “first noted his work [as a buyer] in Asia during the now-defunct Mifed market in Milan” and talked about his former wig business in Asia and how he eventually ended up in the film industry.

Vajna then bought two theaters in Hong Kong and started distributing films, including Papillon with Steve McQueen or Dino DeLaurentiis films. He also talked about the first first kung-fu film he produced in Hong-Kong, starring Angela Mao and how he learnt production and getting paid while he was at it, which all served as valuable lessons for Vajna. He gained insights to the film industry, learnt everything from shooting to post-production, but he added:

I was never the artist. I was always the audience.

He mentioned Dino DeLaurentiis, David Matalon and Mario Kassar as his biggest influencers, whom tought him “how to be a real producer, not someone doing it for the numbers.” He met Kassar, when he was buying European films for distribution and together founded the Carolco studio.

You can read the whole interview here.

In addition to serving as the country’s Film Commissioner, Vajna is also a close ally of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and has been involved with purchasing newspapers and bringing them into a more pro-Orbán stance. Earlier last fall, Vajna, purchased the tabloid Bors and regional newspaper Délmagyarország, and then fired both papers’ editorial leadership.

via Variety,