Film schools in Hungary

The Hungarian film production industry and the education of professionals has a rich history.

Jan 20, 2023

It started in the 19th century, and it's far from over - today Hungary has extraordinary film crews and locations. Let's dive in.

The early years of Hungarian film production and education

The Hungarian film service industry's reputation has a long history. Filmmaking started around the same time as in every filmmaking country in Europe, in the end of the 19th century. So did the education and training of professionals. An institutional framework was put in place in 1948 with the reform of the National Royal Hungarian Academy of Drama, as it became the College of Theatrical and Cinematic Arts. It provided an elite, world-class training for the most talented young professionals in Hungary as well as international students. The departments covered all the major aspects of film and TV production management, cinematography, directing, screenwriting. Just to name a few talents who graduated from SZFE:

  • István Szabó - Academy Award-winning director (Mephisto)

  • Ildikó Enyedi - Golden Bear- winning director (On Body and Soul)

  • Marcell Rév - Emmy-winning cinematographer (Euphoria)

Studio of the Academy of Theatre and Film Arts in 1970. Source: Fortepan

Film schools today in Hungary

Let's jump into the present day. There are many institutions beside SZFE to study and practice the various roles of the film industry. From focus pulling through set design to lighting design, one easily can find a place to learn. One of the main sites for information is SZFI, which collects all the institutions available on all levels - from high schools to colleges, from training to workshops.

A new golden age for film service providers in Hungary

The opportunities available now for film professionals in Hungary is unmatched. There has been an increase in the amount of service work. However, not only has the number of these jobs increased, but also their length has increased as well, with the emergence of series and other video content production.

The registered turnover of the Hungarian filmmaking industry in 2021 was 218 billion HUF, a record, even compared to the years before Covid. It means that spending in Hungary has almost doubled in the last five years. Filmmaking is one of the few, lucky industries in Hungary that could still achieve major growth amid these strange times.

The achievements speaks for themselves. For example after the success of the BAFTA Awards, the set designer of Dune, which was partially shot in Hungary, Zsuzsanna Sipos, was awarded the Oscar in the category of Best Production Design. Marcell Rév won the Emmy for Best Cinematography.

Why are there so many film schools in Hungary?

The abundance of film schools in Hungary can be attributed to a combination of factors. Firstly, Hungary has a rich history of film production and a longstanding tradition of educating and training film professionals. This legacy has resulted in the development of a highly skilled workforce, capable of delivering exceptional work across various disciplines.

Secondly, the demand for video content has skyrocketed in recent years, with movies, TV shows, and series dominating today's cultural landscape. This surge in demand has created a need for more content to be produced, including longer and more intricate productions. Hungary, with its pool of talented professionals, competitive prices, high tax rebates, diverse locations, and professional studios, is well-equipped to meet these demands.

Additionally, Budapest, as the capital city, offers numerous advantages for foreign film crews, including a vibrant hospitality industry and all the amenities one would expect from a European capital. The city's architectural beauty, diverse landscapes, and historical sites also make it an attractive destination for filmmakers from around the world.

In conclusion, Hungary's film industry has flourished over the years, driven by a combination of historical legacy, robust film education, and the ability to meet the growing demand for high-quality productions. With its skilled professionals, stunning locations, and favorable business environment, Hungary continues to be a sought-after destination for filmmakers looking to bring their creative visions to life. So, if you're considering your next production, Hungary has the studios, locations, and skilled workforce to make it a success. Let's chat and explore the possibilities!


Vilmos Zsigmond Institute of Cinematography. Source: Wikipedia