BÉLA TARR – President of the Jury

BÉLA TARR – President of the Jury

Director, screenwriter & producer, Hungary


“Cinema is not show-business, it’s the seventh art. Certain films are like haikus, others demand more breadth.”

“My filmmaking was sociological: It became ontological, then cosmic.”

“The longer a sequence is, the more one can feel the tension, the vibrations, the weight of it, the depth. With a single-take shot, the actor is imprisoned, with no possibility to escape the framing. He has to remain there as long as the filmmaker is holding his camera.”

“Let there be no misunderstanding! All my films are optimistic because you can laugh watching them – a bitter laugh, maybe, but that’s how life is.”

I am all the time just a filmmaker. I am not considering myself as an artist, just a simple filmmaker.”



“A cineaste from a reinvented time, a craftsman perpetually probing the question of human condition, and a tireless seeker of the fundamentals of this world, [...] Béla Tarr has fashioned a radical and visionary body of work with a fascinating formal beauty. […] Masterful use of the single take, magical and captivating composition in black-and-white, rejection of the predominance of narrative, Béla Tarr’s filmmaking pierces the beauty of the world with outbursts steeped in irony and incandescent with despair. Béla Tarr’s oeuvre positions him at the point where social science, literature, theater, painting, music, and cinema all converge. [As described by Émile Breton in the review Cinéma dated September 2002:] ‘All [Béla Tarr’s films] unfold with such jubilation in the invention of a way of telling which befits their profound subject matter that seeing them, or seeing them again, is always a delight, giving the impression that they were filmed with joy.’” (Béla Tarr Retrospective, Centre Pompidou, Festival d’Automne in Paris, 2011)

Béla Tarr was born in Pecs (Hungary) in 1955. An amateur filmmaker, laborer, and porter in a cultural center, he contacted the Béla Balazs studio for young directors, becoming a member. He studied at the Higher School of Theater and Cinema in Budapest where he directed his first films, which were a talented illustration of one of the traits of the Budapest School: sociological filmmaking made from a “field study”, often performed by non-professionals. Since 1990, he has taught at the Filmakademie in Berlin, and in September 2012, he was behind the founding of the Film Factory in Sarajevo, a doctorate program set up in cooperation with prestigious professionals, actors, and directors from around the world.

“I have decided to share my knowledge. I’ve always felt that film schools I had visited made the mistake of trying to teach people the ‘rules’ when every filmmaker knows there is none. My concept is: ‘I don’t want to educate. I want to liberate!’ […] It’s a laboratory for young filmmakers where we try and mix traditional and non-traditional forms of education. Firstly, we put on theoretical workshops with world-famous historians and critics. Then we have practical workshops, held by some experienced filmmakers like Pedro Costa, Lav Diaz, Atom Egoyan, Abel Ferrara, Jim Jarmusch, Guy Maddin, Cristian Mungiu, Carlos Reygadas, Gus Van Sant, Apichatpong Weerasethakul… And then finally there’s what I do, which is help students prepare and edit their own films. This is certainly not a center for traditional filmmaking. It’s a home for the braves! “

Selected Filmography


1977      FAMILY NEST (Le Nid familial – Családi tüzfészek) – doc *

1978      HOTEL MAGNEZIT – short

1979-1980          THE OUTSIDER (Szabadgyalog) – doc *

1982      THE PREFAB PEOPLE (Rapports préfabriqués – Panelkapcsolat) *


1983-1984          ALMANAC OF FALL (Almanach d’automne – Öszi almanach) *

1987      DAMNATION (Kárhozat) *

1989      CITY LIFE – segment THE LAST BOAT (Az Utolsó hajó) – short *

1991-1994          SATANTANGO (Le Tango de Satan – Sátántangó) *

1995      JOURNEY ON THE PLAIN (Utazás az Alföldön) – short

1997-2000          WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES (Les Harmonies Werckmeister – Werckmeister harmóniák) */**

2004      VISIONS OF EUROPE – segment PROLOGUE (Prológus) – short

2005-2007           THE MAN FROM LONDON (L’Homme de Londres – A Londoni férfi) */**

2009-2010           THE TURIN HORSE (Le Cheval de Turin – A Torinói ló) – Silver Bear Berlin 2011 *


2004      Death Rode Out of Persia (A halál kilovagolt Perzsiából) Putyi Horváth

2005      JOHANNA Kornél Mundurczó

2007      FRAGMENT (Töredék) Gyula Maár

2012      HUNGARY 2011 (Magyarország 2011) – collectif

*also screenwriter

**also producer