Cannes Film Festival



This year, for the fifth time, the official programme of Cannes Film Festival, Cannes Classics, selected a Hungarian film classic restored by the National Film Institute. In the wake of Miklós Jancsó’s The Round-Up, Károly Makk’s Love, Zoltán Fábri’s Merry-Go-Round, and Péter Bacsó’s The Witness, this year Sándor Sára’s autobiographical classic, The Upthrown Stone was invited to the programme, in which significant and popular works such as Wong Kar-wai’s film In the Mood for Love are also featured. “Every film entered for the Cannes film festival is a stone thrown towards us. The pebble in question is none other than Sándor Sára’s film The Upthrown Stone, a superbly photographed, disciplined, fictional ‘documentary film’ that is as resolved as the actors in the film participating at an open-air screening. The political issues raised by the film, and the intense, shared cinematic experience it conveys, encouraged us to select this flint of the past for the Cannes Classics section, which, although distant, still appears as close as a stone placed in the pocket” – head of Cannes Classics Gérald Duchaussoy said in connection with the choice of film.


Hungarian Film Magazin

Diploma for The Witness (Photo: NFI)


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Hungarian Film Magazin 


At the initiative of the Film Fund, the restored version of Zoltán Fábri’s legendary film (61 years after its Cannes premiere) was included in Cannes Classics, the programme featuring film history classics of the number one film festival in the world. After presentations of Miklós Jancsó’s Szegénylegények (The Round-Up) and Károly Makk’s Szerelem (Love), in fully restored and digitized versions, 2017 was the third year in a row that a Hungarian creation enhanced the Cannes Classics programme, a showcase for restored masterpieces of cinema. The film’s international success was launched at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, where François Truffaut, when still a youthful film critic of Cahiers du Cinema, considered Fabri’s film worthy of the Grand Prix and he would have given Mari Törőcsik the best actress prize, at least according to the festival review he penned. Film historian restorers of the Film Archive put together the most complete version of Merry-Go-Round, which marked the rebirth of Hungarian film in the middle of the 1950s, from original camera negatives and two additional film prints. This allowed experts in the Film Laboratory to scan the most complete and technically best version of the film in 4K resolution. During the modern digitizing restoration they imperceptibly corrected the significantly damaged sections, integrated each and every missing frame, thus restoring the film to its original brilliance. Thanks to all these efforts, Merry-Go-Round could be watched once again in all its former glory, for the first time at Cannes.

Merry-Go-Round on the festival website

Hungarian Film Magazine


Diploma for the Merry-Go-Round (Photo: NFI)

2016 – LOVE

The restored version of Károly Makk’s masterpiece was similarly screened at Cannes Classics review of film history’s finest in the Cannes Film Festival. The initiative was that of the Film Fund. The lyrically beautiful Love is the joint child of Károly Makk, writer Tibor Déry and cinematographer János Tóth, a unique and unrepeatable artwork, and one of the ‘Budapest Twelve’. Its international premiere was at the Cannes Festival in 1971, where it won the jury prize, among others, before achieving considerable success all around the world. Restoration of the 45-year-old, originally 35 mm film to 4K digital media was realized with grant sponsorship from the Hungarian Academy of Arts and the collaboration of the Film Archive at the Focus-Fox Studio and Hungarian Filmlab. The first outing of the digital cinema print of the fully restored film Love was at Cannes.

Diploma for Love (Photo: NFI)


The Round-Up by Miklós Jancsó was invited to Cannes Classics, the Cannes Festival programme featuring restored versions of greats from the cinema screen. With this film, made in 1965, Miklós Jancsó (died: 2014) became a world-famous innovator of film’s on-screen representation. The black and white film starring János Görbe, Zoltán Latinovits, András Kozák, and Tibor Molnár won a FIPRESCI Award in Locarno and best foreign film at the London film festival. The film screenplay was by Jancsó’s long-time collaborator Gyula Hernádi and Luca Karall, the producer was István Nemeskürty. Its international premiere was in 1966 at the Cannes Film Festival. The digital print (DCP) of the fully restored film was screened in Cannes. The renewal was supported with HUF 18.6 million from the Film Fund, with the collaboration of the Film Archive and done in the Hungarian Filmlab. In 1972, Miklós Jancsó won best director for his film Még kér a nép (Red Psalm) at Cannes, while in 1979 the festival honoured his work with a lifetime achievement award.

The film on the festival website

Diploma for The Round-Up (Photo: NFI)