On the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the birth of Hungarian film, the National Film Institute – Film Archive launched a widespread research programme to identify lost treasures of Hungarian film history. These works are irreplaceable and form a vital part of our national cultural heritage, which is why their preservation and making them accessible is our prime mission.
In 2021, we calculate that more than one-third of all films made during the 120 years of Hungarian film history have still not been recovered.
Due to the fragility of the raw material and in the course of historical vicissitudes, the original prints were frequently destroyed, lost, or have only survived to this day in a fragmentary form. It is a sad fact that we will never see most of these in their entirety. However, it occasionally happens even today that in attics, cellars and from the depths of collections, rolls of film turn up that, incredibly, survived and prove interesting for contemporary viewers.
We are now in the final hour to locate these continuously degrading treasures and rescue them for posterity. In this regard, we ask for the help of the domestic and international community. In the list below we introduce the 120 most sought-after films made between 1901 and 1944, with commentaries about why it would be especially important to find them. The selection includes various genres, early silent films and missing sound films, demonstrating just how diverse the “lost Hungarian film heritage” is.
If you have any information whatsoever in relation to the location of the following films, or perhaps you could give us tips about where to look for them, please write to us at the e-mail below. Thank you very much for all your help!
Lead image: The Tales of the Typewrite, 1917 (Source: NFI)