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Our 21st Century

Our 21st Century


CHECK THE GATE – 1st Hungarian Film Showcase in London


Dear fellow cinema lovers,
Welcome to "Check the Gate", the first annual film showcase from Hungary, a country that enjoys a great historical tradition of film making. Throughout the twentieth century, Hungary has produced numerous icons and legends, from Alexander Korda to Miklós Jancsó, from Budapest to Hollywood. Today, as we celebrate these achievements and the first 100 years of Hungarian cinema, we sense a perfect opportunity to show the world something new, something fresh and exciting. And so the motto for this year's festival, adapted from an extraordinary modern fairy tale by Ildikó Enyedi, is: "Our 21st Century." The festival showcases the youngest generation of Hungarian film makers, and we are proud to present this talented new wave of directors, and give them the chance to take centre stage in London.
Over the past few decades, and in particular since Hungary joined the EU, numerous new opportunities have arisen for cooperation in European art. In this context, every culture plays a part, and we are determined to contribute! What better proof of Hungarian cinema's recent renaissance, than the success of Kornél Mundruczó’s Delta, which won the international critics' FIPRESCI prize at Cannes 2008?
Once-isolated European nations have begun to move closer towards each other; in getting to know each other better, we all contribute to the generation of a broad intercultural dialogue, while doing away with older, out-of-date stereotypes. This process is sure to effect a great impact on European art, and, as a cultural organization, our mission is to encourage artists and audiences to learn much more about each other.
Exceptional thanks are due to Andrew and Kevin Macdonald, leading British filmmakers of Hungarian origin, and the patrons of our showcase. Their personal involvement formed a great contribution to enriching the links between British and Hungarian culture.
This year's "Check the Gate" is the first of its kind, but the Hungarian Cultural Centre believes that together with our British and Hungarian public and commercial partners, we will establish a new tradition: an annual celebration of Hungarian cinema in the UK. I am delighted to welcome you to the showcase, and wish you a most simulating and enjoyable time. And after that? See you next year: Szia!
ILDIKÓ TAKÁCS, festival director
Director of the Hungarian Cultural Centre
The Patrons of the Festival
Check the Gate is honoured to have Andrew and Kevin Macdonald as patrons

Macdonald was born in Glasgow, Scotland and educated at Glenalmond College, Oxford. He began his career with a biography of his grandfather, “The Life and Death of a Screenwriter” (1994), which he turned into the documentary “TheMaking of an Englishman” (1995).
Aftermaking a series of biographical documentaries,Macdonald directed “OneDay in September” (1999), about the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972Munich Olympics - the filmwon an Oscar for Best Documentary.
His next film was “Touching the Void”, which told the story of two climbers' disastrous attempt to scale the Siula Grande in the Andes in 1985. The filmwon the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Filmat the BAFTA Awards. He won the same award – an award titled after the first employer of his grandfather – for “The Last King of Scotland” in 2007. Macdonald is to direct the film adaptation of hit BBC television drama “State of Play”, and his next project will be “Bobby Fischer Goes toWar”, a filmabout the 1972World Chess Championship.

Born in Glasgow, Andrew Macdonald was not interested in movies until he saw Franc Roddam's "Quadrophenia" (1979) and then turned to his famous grandparent for advice and inspiration.
He began his careerworking on filmsmade by students at London'sNational FilmSchool in themid-1980s and later studied at the American FilmInstitute. In the course of a few short years, he graduated fromworking as a location manager in filmand TVto filmmaker, directing and/or producing a handful of shorts, some in tandemwith his brother Kevin.With writer John Hodge and director Danny Boyle he produced the splashy and surrealistic "Trainspotting" in 1996 which was an international hit with Ewan McGregor heading the cast and earned an Oscar nomination for its screenplay.Macdonald, Boyle and Hodge reunited withMcGregor for "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997), a film that was designed in part to be an "hommage" to the Powell-Pressburger films of the 1940s. Determined to resuscitate the moribund British film industry, Macdonald entered into partnership with Duncan Kenworthy (producer of "FourWeddings and a Funeral" and "Notting Hill") and formed DNA Films in early 1997.
More information and screening schedule: