This year, the Hungarian Motion Picture Festival honours the outstanding careers of actress and dancer Cecília Esztergályos, director Márta Mészáros, actor Gábor Reviczky, producer Béla Romwalter (Richy), and animation director Béla Ternovszky with Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards ceremony will take place on the evening of 9 June 2023 at the Kisfaludy Gallery in Balatonfüred, during the Hungarian Motion Picture Festival. At the biggest Hungarian film festival in Veszprém, Balatonfüred and Balatonalmádi between 7–10 June, the audience will be able to see classics such as Meteo, The Day Has Gone, and Cat City, among others, which all have connections with the Lifetime Achievement Award winners.
Cecília Esztergályos, celebrating her 80th birthday this year, is a Kossuth and Jászai Mari Award-winning actress, dancer, a Merited and Distinguished Artist of Hungary, and a perpetual member of the Halhatatlanok Társulata (Company of Immortals). In 1960, she graduated from the State Ballet Institute as a ballet dancer, and in 1968 she received a degree in acting from the Academy of Drama and Film. Her career started at the Thália Theatre, then she became a company member at the National Theatre, the Petőfi Theatre of Veszprém, and the Attila József Theatre. From 1991 to 1999 she was a regular star in the television series Família Kft. Since 2014, she has been a member of the New Theatre. In a career spanning more than 50 years, she has appeared in nearly two hundred film and theatre productions. At the festival, the audience can see her in András Monory Mész’s 1990 cult film Meteo and István Szabó’s unforgettable lyrical film work Te (You) on 10 June at 11 am in Hangvilla in Veszprém.
Márta Mészáros is a Kossuth and Béla Balázs Prize-winning director, a Merited Artist of the Republic of Hungary, and a Master of Hungarian Cinema. Between 1935 and 1946, she lived in the Soviet Union. Her father, sculptor László Mészáros, was a victim of the Stalinist purges. She later wrote about this chapter of her childhood in her Diary series. She was the first major Hungarian female director, and most of her films also depicted women’s fates. In 1975, she won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale for The Adoption, the first of the Soviet bloc artists and the first female director to do so. Her films Nine Months and Diary for My Children won prizes at Cannes, the latter a Grand Prix, and Diary for My Lovers was awarded the Silver Bear. Her 1968 film The Day Has Gone, starring Kovács Kati, will be screened on 7 June at 3 pm at the Expresso.
Gábor Reviczky is a Kossuth- and Jászai Mari Prize-winning actor, who was awarded the title of The Artist of the Nation. He graduated from the Academy of Drama and Film in 1973. As a fresh graduate, he found employment at the Csiky Gergely Theatre in Kaposvár, and then at the theatres of Debrecen, Miskolc and Kecskemét. From 1979 to 2013, he was a member of the Vígszínház, with a two-year interruption: from 1989 to 1991, and later from 2013 to 2016 he was a member of the National Theatre in Budapest. His popularity is also due to his film roles, including memorable performances in Zimmer Feri, Csinibaba, and Üvegtigris, but he is also well known as the Hungarian voice of Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, and Clint Eastwood (T/N: in Hungary, movies are usually dubbed by professional actors with established pairings of original actors and Hungarian voices). The festival will pay tribute to him by screening three of his recent films: Hadik (Hangvilla, 8 June), Az énekesnő (Foton, 10 June), and Akik hazára voksoltak – Sopron 1921 (Foton, 10 June).
Béla Romwalter (Richy) is a chief lighting technician, producer, and the founder of Sparks. In 1966, he joined Hungarian Television as a lighting technician. During his 25 years there, he participated in hundreds of productions, working with Miklós Jancsó, Károly Makk, Pál Sándor, and Miklós Szinetár, among others. In 1991, he met Oscar-winning director Vilmos Zsigmond during the filming of American HBO miniseries Stalin. Together they founded Sparks in 1992, which is still a market leader in lighting services and camera rental. The festival will showcase the world-famous cinematographer’s photographic work in a film by Noémi Veronika Szakonyi, produced by Béla Romwalter, entitled Photographed by Zsigmond Vilmos. On 9 June at 9.15 pm in Expresso, audiences can see this rarely screened film.
Béla Ternovszky, a Kossuth and Béla Balázs Prize-winning animation director, and a Merited Artist, turns 80 this year. After graduating in Philosophy and Aesthetics, he worked at the Pannónia Film Studio, and later at the Film Company. He started as a draughtsman, then worked as a movement designer, and director. Between 1995 and 2005, he was also one of the owners and directors of Stúdió II Ltd. His first short film Modern edzésmódszerek, which will also be screened at the festival together with Tartsuk kutyát on 10 June at 8pm at the Wesselényi Strand in Balatonalmádi, won several national and international festival awards. He is credited with directing popular series such as The Mézga Family, Kérem a következőt!, and Gustav, and also the cult hit Cat City, too.