Greeting

Éva Demeter - festival director

I am writing these lines with the hope that our festival will be kept and those catalogues and program guides will not go to waste, like other festival’s this year. A small virus has destroyed the dreams and works of film industry. Studios and cinemas have been closed, hundreds of festival organisers’ jobs, plans and desires have become nothing in a blink of an eye. Despite the many attempts to save what we can, like meetings in online platforms, they could not reach up for the live meetings’ moments and joys at one time and one spot. The world has changed and we can only hope that everything will return back to the ordinary way. There will be many bated person of COVID-19, but I hope they will gain their strength back and they are going to reconnect the world of film, which hopefully will not be different from the time before the virus. Cinemas will take a new lease of life and millions of viewers will be able to go to their favourite cinemas without masks and fear, and the future movie premieres will not be shown by bigger or smaller TV screens of living rooms, or even worse, watched on the screens of mobile phones. The festivals will shine in their old glaze again in the most wonderful celebration-day of the film industry, the stars will be invited along with the journalists, the members of the profession and crowds of audience will be attracted again.

As so many people in this year we prepared thoroughly because thousands of entries arrived, we reviewed innumerable quantities of movies so that we could choose 114 works which we would like to present to our audience. We paid special attention to invite the 10 feature movies, which are to compete for the Trauner Prize—a recognition of the most spectacular feature film, where we focus on the production designer’s work. Our festival brings the majority of the European feature films for the first time to the Hungarian audience.

We had monumental plans, we invited many guests expecting visitors from all around the world, however, understandably, many guests would not undertake the risk of travelling. That is why we are grateful for all of those who kept on with us during the preparation and judging. They helped our work and they undertook that they would come to our event, and they are with us right now, despite of all the dangers. We are asking you now to be careful and wary. Take care for your own and other people’s health so you can return home from Szolnok full of experiences and still in good health.

Éva Demeter
festival director

This small country, with its narrowly defined linguistic area, can only attract the attention of the foreigner with something special in style, through something distinctive, in the color of some succulent originality.

Jenő Janovics, one of the most important figures in the history of Hungarian film and theatre expressed his opinion on Hungarian films not long after the turn of the century. The last century had just confirmed the validity of his words. Janovics’s findings are also true of Alexander Trauner Art/Film Festival, which has a tradition of more than fifty years: a special place with a magical uniqueness that will not be undeservedly recognized year after year, both at home and abroad. For the friends of cinema this is a constant place, a celebration where it feels good to arrive for the first time, but if feels just as good to— meeting friends and looking forward something new—return.

Although our world has completely reversed since March 2020, the events of the pandemic, the months of quarantine helped us realize how much we miss activities and programmes providing consistency and safety and also the handrails of our everyday life, our holidays. The Film Festival of Szolnok is the celebration of film, which, despite the pandemic, has reached a record in 2020 as well, with more than 3100 entries. The huge interest clearly proves that there is a demand for the festival, both at home and in the international world of film.

The festival has renewed entirely in 2018 and uniquely focuses on cinematic visuals. The organizers are constantly working to give the defining personalities of the future and the present space and be the shapers and not only the followers of international trends.

The extremely rich professional and cultural events of the festival are renewed and expanded every year: with concerts, exhibitions, master classes, film conferences, introductory programs of universities and book launches.

Alexandre Trauner Art/Film Festival and the Tisza Mozi are increasingly becoming a cinematic agora, a constantly operating and complex film workshop whose intellectual radiance is already perceptible on an international scale. All this is largely due to István Demeter and Éva Demeter, whose expertise, commitment and diligence created one of the most valuable cultural events in Hungary.

I wish the audience a very good time, a mental and spiritual recharge!

Let us take care of each other, but at the same time be grateful that we can celebrate motion pictures here in Szolnok, on the bank of the Tisza River, in the 51st year of the festival.

dr. Tamás Kollarik

dr. Tamás Kollarik