6th Budapest Classics Film Marathon is nearly here!


Budapest Classics Film Marathon, the international film festival of restored classics and gems of film history, is back again, between 12-17 September 2023.

The festival is open to visitors at all its favourite venues, Uránia National Film Theatre, Toldi cinema and the French Institute; things are no different with the hugely popular and spectacular open-air screenings on Szent István Square in front of the Basilica. The event is accompanied by a diverse range of professional programmes and roundtable discussions, and we can also look forward to several premieres of restored motion pictures and projections of works dealing with the history of film.

This year’s lead festival topic is the Korda universe coinciding with the 130th anniversary of the birth of Hungarian director-producer Sándor Korda who became a household name as Sir Alexander Korda. The programme not only presents Alexander Korda’s career and key films but also that dynamic intellectual medium, those Hungarian and international colleagues, who contributed to the renaissance of the British film industry after the Second World War, including the two other Korda brothers, Zoltán and Vince, the legendary screenwriter Lajos Bíró and the brilliant but largely forgotten producer István Pallós. In connection with this focus on Britain, we are screening films by the famous creative duo of Imre Pressburger, that is, Emeric Pressburger, and Michael Powell. The remarkable collaboration between these two professionals created matchless movies that continue to enrapture audiences to this day. The primary aim of the section featuring their selected films is to illustrate the breadth of their artistic vision.

Restored Hungarian films by André de Toth are on the menu and we select from his American productions, too, while we also tie in to Hollywood via the films of Paramount Studio and its Hungarian founder, Adolph Zukor.

In other sections of the festival we seek new perspectives on the subject of sport and motion pictures, we introduce important female filmmakers, and with the help of films we travel back in time to view the Budapest of 150 years agowith the restored films of Kálmán Latabár, we evoke a perennial favourite of Hungarian audiences. Last year we celebrated the Pathé Baby 9.5 mm small gauge format; this year we have not forgotten the 100th anniversary of the 16 mm small gauge format. The cooperation with the Museum of Fine Arts continues with a film programme linked to the Jean Renoir exhibition opening in September.

Another repeat feature is the Budapest Classics Lab conference, during which fascinating chapters in film history and the very latest film archive discoveries are presented by Hungarian and international experts. The festival’s popular educational programme continues: screenings, meet & greets, and a playhouse, all for younger film enthusiasts. An initiative started last year proved so popular that it has become a fixed programme: this year will have a section compiled by student curators for the audience.

The festival's key professional partners are Martin Scorsese's Foundation for Film Preservation and Restoration, The Film Foundation, the BFI, Cinémathèque française, Paramount Archive, and will continue to work with cultural institutions, embassies and other film archives and film organisations.

More news on festival programmes will be published continuously in the coming weeks.