Zsolt Kézdi-Kovács

1936 - 2014

Zsolt Kézdi-Kovács was born in 1936 in Nagybecskerek. He graduated as a film director from the Academy of Theatre and Film in 1961, where his leading professor was Félix Máriassy. He worked as assistant to Zoltán Fábri and Miklós Jancsó between 1962 and 1969. He was a cofounder if the Balázs Béla Stúdió, where he was managing board member between 1975 and 1977.

His first feature film, Mérsékelt égöv / Temperate Zone, contended at the Locarno Film Festival in 1970, with the help of the then studio director István Nemeskürty, where it won a Silver Leopard. He directed a total of ten feature films, many of which went on to win international accolades. His documentary, Az a nap a miénk / That Day was Ours (2002), re-examined his personal recollections of the first days of the 1956 Revolution.

He became an active member of the Hungarian and international film profession in the 1980s, going on to head MAFILM between 1987 and 1989, and work as the Hungarian representative of EURIMAGES between 1990 and 2009, as well as being actively involved with Magyar Filmunió as founder and director between 1992 to 2001. He headed Hungarian Film Week between 1993 and 1995, and was vice president and then president of the Hungarian Directors’ Guild between 200 and 2001.

In the early 1990s, he began filming his "greatest undertaking", Erdély leírása / Account of Transylvania, a documentary film series based on the book Székelyföld leírása / Account of Szeklerland written by the renowned cultural anthropologist Balázs Orbán. He collected a staggering 156 hours of film shot throughout the region, although only a few episodes of the series were finally made. This film footage provides a unique record of the multicultural society present in Central and Eastern Europe. He continued to archive and edit his work on this project right until his death.

Small Cross of the Order Merit of the Hungarian Republic (1998)
Knight of the French Order of Merit (1998)
Silver Pyramid Lifetime Achievement Award (Cairo IFF, 1996)
Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France (1992)
Balázs Béla Award (1986)


1961: Autumn / Õsz (d)
1961: On Holiday / Szabadságon (s)
1962: Market Hall / Vásárcsarnok (d)
1966: History of a Cowardice / Egy gyávaság története (s)
1967: With a Camera in Costroma / Kamerával Kosztromában (d)
1968: I'd like to make a Paper Hat / Szeretnék csákót csinálni (s)
1970: Temperate Zone / Mérsékelt égöv
1972: "Romanticism" / Romantika
1973: The Orange Watering Truck / A locsolókocsi
1975: When Joseph Returns / Ha megjön József
1979: A Nice Neighbour / A kedves szomszéd
1981: The Right to Hope / A remény joga
1982: Forbidden Relations / Visszaesõk
1985: The Absentee / A rejtõzködõ
1987: Cry and Cry Again / Kiáltás és kiáltás
1991: After All / És mégis...
1994: A Letter from Transylvania / Levél Erdélybõl (d)
1999: I've Met Some Wonderful People / Találkoztam remek emberekkel (d)
2002: That Day Was Ours / Az a nap, a miénk (d)
2003: From Europe into Europe / Európából Európába (sketch film with 9 other directors)
2003: Hungarian Workshop / Magyar mûhely (d)

Films in our database

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