Hungarian Film in San Francisco (HFSF) is part of Central European California Cultural Institute (CECI) dedicated to presenting a selection of contemporary Hungarian feature films, live action shorts, documentaries, and animation. In the past HFSF has worked with the Hungarian Film Festival taking place in Los Angeles. It is part of the curriculum of the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University, and as such it offers a unique combination of public access and higher education.
CECI, a San Francisco-based NGO, organizes cultural exchange between the two regions, having originated with a film festival and aimed to develop into a wide array of cultural events. The mission of CECI, founded and run by three Hungarian-Americans, is to promote Hungarian and other Central European film, theater and music events in California. The film festival is one of the main current cultural activities of CECI. The founders intend the organization to branch into the other arts in the near future.
Both the festival and the cultural institute are the creation of three Hungarian-Americans, professor Steven Kovacs, documentary filmmaker Réka Pigniczky and producer Éva Karafiáth-Homor.
In 2012, we hosted our first guest. Director Benedek Fliegauf accompanied his “Just the Wind” (the official Hungarian entry to the Academy Awards) to screen at SFSU in front of an audience of some 150 students and general public.
In 2013 we received private funding for the appearance of director Andras Vagvolgyi to present his feature “Kolorado Kid.” HFSF founder Reka Pigniczky volunteered to show and discuss her latest film “Heritage”. The Q & A that followed the two directors’ appearance were the highlights of the festival. Evening screenings were attended by 130 viewers.
In 2014 CECI received an “Art and Culture” grant approved by The Hungary Initiatives Foundation to support the 3rd Annual Hungarian Film Festival in San Francisco.
In 2015, at the 4th Hungarian Film Festival we made the first audience award to “Afterlife / Utóélet” by Virág Zomborácz.
In 2018 the 5th Hungarian Film Festival will take place on November 2-3 at our usual venue, the August Coppola Theatre, SFSU. In recognition of our pioneering quality programs, this year we received a grant from The Hungary Initiatives Foundation. With their support we have invited Academy Award winner director Kristóf Deák, award-winning director Attila Szász, and Zsuzsanna Gellér-Varga documentary filmmaker to present and discuss their work. We welcome guests to enjoy the movies and the Q&A afterwards. All screenings are free and open to the public.
“I received an email from a Hungarian club in San Francisco inviting me to this festival, and I thought I should really come – I haven’t seen a Hungarian film in 10 years.” (Viktor Perkala, San Francisco)
“I used to work in the film business in Hungary and now I live here. So for me this is a great continuation of Hungarian film culture, since I can’t be at home now to watch films.” (Sövény Tímea, San Francisco)
To promote Hungarian and other Central Eastern European films in the SF Bay Area. We are cultural pioneers for films in general, and Hungarian and other regional films especially.
Cultural programs and events initially throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, eventually in the entire state of California. Such programs and events may include art exhibits, musical presentations, theatrical and dance performances, and conferences that showcase the diverse traditions of Central Europe. Lectures and classes focused on educating the public about the rich and diverse culture and arts of Central Europe.Youth activities promoting charitable and educational purposes. Publication of educational information on a website.