Dr. Balázs Varga

Associate professor

Balázs Varga is an Associate Professor of Film Studies at ELTE, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary. He writes and lectures on modern and contemporary Hungarian cinema, contemporary European cinema, production studies, popular cinemas and documentaries.
He is a founding editor of Metropolis, a scholarly journal on film theory and history based in Budapest. He has published several articles and essays in English, Italian, Polish, Czech and Hungarian books and journals. His book in Hungarian Filmrendszerváltások. A magyar játékfilm intézményeinek átalakulása 1990–2010 [Film regime changes. Transformations in Hungarian Film Industry 1990–2010] was brought out by L’Harmattan Publishers, Budapest.
His current project focuses on popular Hungarian and East European screen cultures during and after socialism.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

  • Member of NECS – European Network for Cinema and Media Studies
  • research projects and scholarships:
  • 2011–2014: János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (The post-socialist transformation of the Hungarian film industry)
  • 2015–2016: International Visegrad Fund (contemporary Central European cinemas)
  • 2014–2018: Space-ing Otherness. Cultural Images of Space, Contact Zones in Contemporary Hungarian and Romanian Film and Literature. Founded by Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (no. 112700), senior researcher
  • 2015–2020: Social History of Hungarian Cinema. Founded by National Research, Development and Innovation Office (no. 116708), senior researcher
  • 2020–2024: Hungarian Popular Cinema and Television During and After Socialism. Founded by Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (no. 135235), principal investigator

Areas of Teaching / Courses Taught

  • Contemporary cinema;
  • European cinema;
  • modern and contemporary Hungarian film history;
  • transnational screen cultures;
  • questions of serialities.

Areas of Supervision

  • production studies;

  • contemporary global cinema;

  • Hungarian and Eastern European cinema;

  • documentaries.

Selected Publications  

  • Books in Hungarian:
  • Varga Balázs: Filmrendszerváltások. A magyar játékfilm intézményeinek átalakulása 1990–2010. [Film Regime Changes. Transformation of the Hungarian Film Industry 1990-2010] L’Harmattan, Budapest, 2016.
  • Varga Balázs: Final Cut – A tankönyv. L’Harmattan – Színház és Filmművészeti Egyetem, Budapest, 2013. [Final Cut – Introduction to Film Analysis]
  • Studies in books and journals:
  • in English
  • Balázs Varga: Everybody is a fool: Rural life, social order and carnivalesque marginalization in a Hungarian television series. In: Hájek Martin; Reifová Irena (eds.) Mediated Shame of Class and Poverty Across Europe. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021. pp 223–242.
  • Balázs Varga: Mistaken Identities: Millennial Remakes, Post-Socialist Transformation, and Hungarian Popular Cinema. In: Eduard, Cuelenaere; Gertjan, Willems; Stijn, Joye (eds.) European Film Remakes.
  • Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021. pp. 163–176.
  • Balázs Varga: Familiar, Much Too Familiar…: HBO’s Hungarian Original Productions and the Questions of Cultural Proximity. In: Barra, Luca; Scaglioni, Massimo (eds.) A European television fiction renaissance: Premium production models and transnational circulation. London: Routledge, 2020. pp. 275–294.
  • Balázs Varga: Recontextualizing socialist television. Studies in Eastern European Cinema (2019) no. 2. pp. 198–200.
  • Balázs Varga: Worlds That Never Were: Contemporary Eastern European Musical Comedies and the Memory of Socialism. In: Ewa, Mazierska; Zsolt, Győri (eds.) Popular Music and the Moving Image in Eastern Europe. New York, Oxford: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018. pp. 63-82.
  • Balázs Varga: Quest for coherence and continuity: Squelization in Central European popular cinemas in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Studies in Eastern European Cinema (2018) no. 1. pp. 15–32.
  • Balázs Varga: Transformations: Hungarian Popular Cinema in the 1950s. In: Ostrowska, Dorota – Pitassio, Francesco – Varga Zsuzsanna (eds.): Popular Cinemas in Central Europe: Film Cultures and Histories. New York: I.B. Tauris, 2017. pp. 85–101.
  • Balázs Varga: The Missing Middle. Trends, and Genres in Hungarian Popular Cinema after the Political Changes. In: Dudková, Jana –Misiková, Katarina (eds.): Transformation Processes in Post-Socialist Screen Media. Bratislava: Academy of Performing Arts, Institute of Theatre and Film Research-The Slovak Academy of Sciences, 2016. pp. 97–116.
  • in German
  • Balázs Varga: Glastiger 1–3. In: Bühler, Daniel; Hilfenhaus, Dominik; Krause, Stephan (eds.) Klassiker des ungarischen Films. Marburg: Schüren Verlag, 2019. pp. 195-202.
  • in Czech
  • Balázs Varga: Vzestupy, pády a čas dluhu. Posledních dvacet let madarské kinematografie. Cinepur (2013) no. 85. / nos. 1–2.
  • in Slovak
  • Balázs Varga: Plodné napätia: Filmy Kornéla Mundruczóa. Kino-Ikon (2019) no. 1. pp. 127–148.


Contact Details

Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies

Department of Film Studies
Eötvös Loránd University
Mail: Múzeum krt. 6-8., 1088 Budapest, Hungary

E-mail: vargabalazsbalazs@gmail.com