András Nagy - CANCELLED

The master of light and experiment

András Nagy is one of the best Hungarian cinematographers of the present day. All of his films are characterized by an interesting visual style and he experiments with image very often. He has cooperated with directors such as Kornel Mundruczó (Pleasant Days, Johanna) or Szabolcs Hajdu (White Palms, Off Hollywood, Bibliothéque Pascal, Mirage) and won several significant prizes - in 2000 and 2006 he received the Best Cinematography Prize during the Hungarian Film Week; in 2005 and 2006 the Hungarian Society of Cinematographers awarded him with the prize for the Best Cinematograper at the Golden Eye film festival. 

Unfortunately this year András Nagy  had to cancel his participation at Visegrad Film Forum due to conflicting schedules. 


It was quite early that András Nagy found out that he wanted to become a cinematographer. During his secondary school studies, his professor Papp László, who was a pioneer in the teaching of audiovisual studies at the time, encouraged him to go this way. Nagy started to focus on his aim to get to SZFE after finishing his grammar school. As he recollects: "I used to skip school a lot to watch films and I tried to improve my chances of making this dream come true."

And, in the end, he succeeded. Right after graduating in 1992, he was accepted to SZFE to study Film and Television Cinematography under the supervision of Szabó Gábor.  Back then it was really rare to get to this school without any technical or life experience, so Nagy - an eighteen-year-old teenager - found himself in the company of other much older and more experienced SZFE students.During his studies he met the director Attila Mispál, with whom he cooperated on several films later on. He spent some time in the U.S. right after graduating from SZFE.

There, he worked on two films - One Day Crossing and Solidarity - with a young film director Joan Stein Schimke. One Day Crossing won a student Oscar - a Student Academy Award (DGA Student Film Award, Gold Medal) in 2000 and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Short Film, Live Action category in 2001.

"For example, in New York everybody wants to become a director or a cinematographer. Even taxi drivers have their scripts ready; they are just waiting for their time. An opportunity to work with a bigger budget might come up but it is very hard to get there because the competition is so enormous. And at home, everybody keeps crying about not having enough money, but many films are made anyway, more or less independently. The filmmaking is not so "producentralised" as in the U.S., where they can send you away whenever they want. At home, it is still possible to make films quite independently and that is also why I don’t think the situation is so bad."

In 2001 András Nagy received one of the most important prizes in Hungary, which is awarded by the minister of culture - the Béla Balázs Prize. Back then his cooperation with Kornél Mundruczó started with the debut feature film of this Hungarian director, entitled Pleasant Days. They continued to work together on the next Mundruczó's film - Johanna - a vivid visual/musical adaptation of the sufferings of the Maid of Orléans. With this film Nagy won both the Best Cinematograhy Prize during the Hungarian Film Week and the Prize of Hungarian film critics.  




"I always start to work with an intention to create something I will enjoy, something that will reflect my opinions and ideas. My secret probably lies in the fact that I don’t return to things I don’t enjoy. I keep looking for new forms of expression; after all, filmmaking offers endless possibilities. If you lose yourself in it, it can become a long alliance and an adventure. That might be reason why I am still able to create new images."

Nagy met another major director of the present generation of Hungarian filmmakers, Szabolcs Hajdu, in 2006 when they worked on White Palms, a film depicting the life of Hajdu´s brother. This film constitutes a beginning of a very fruitful cooperation - Nagy became the "court cinematographer" for Szabolcs Hajdu. In 2010 they made Bibliothéque Pascal together, a film awarded with the Golden Reel for Best Feature at Hungarian Film Week. Right now they are finishing their film The Gambler set in Las Vegas.