Eötvös Loránd University
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
The students of Film Studies Department at ELTE were shocked by the news that the recent proposal by the Hungarian government about the restructuring of higher education plans to terminate the Film Specialization in the Faculty of Arts on bachelor level. The elimination of this course concerns many students. The Film Department is one of the most popular specializations in the Faculty of Arts: the number of applicants regularly exceeds the places available and only students with good grades are accepted.
The accusation that the department produces too many film experts is inaccurate, since the large majority of the students find jobs in the film/media industry. Several recognized filmmakers started their studies in this department founded twenty-one years ago, such as Viktória Petrányi, Gábor Reisz, Ágnes Kocsis or Marcell Rév. With their festival awards and nominations, they significantly contribute to the Hungarian film industry’s reputation both domestically and abroad. The mentioned artists participated in the production of films such as For an Inexplicable Reason, Adrienn Pál, or White God. After years of stagnation, these and others pictures show signs of revitalisation in the national film industry, and also contribute to luring more and more foreign film productions to Hungary, thereby greatly contributing to the income of the Hungarian economy.
There are no other universities in Budapest where students can enroll in BA program in film theory and film history, and only ELTE provides film studies MA and PhD degree programs. The department leads the way in theoretical research in Hungary. The winner of the Visual Culture section at this year’s OTDK, the most important national competition for university students, is also one of our students. The list of our professors speaks for itself: András Bálint Kovács, Gábor Gelencsér, Tibor Hirsch, Zsolt Pápai, Beja Margitházi, András Salamon, László Strausz, Károly Szalai, Györgyi Vajdovich, Balázs Varga, Teréz Vincze.
Besides the theoretical education, students can take courses in film production and have access to our newly established state-of-the-art media studio.
For the above reason, the elimination of the BA program in film theory and film history is an irresponsible decision. Shutting down this program is completely irrational and unacceptable.