Restoration News

The uncensored version of The Witness premiered in Cannes

Again a Hungarian film was premiered at Cannes Classics, this time The Witness in original uncensored version. The 4K restoration, colour grading of the details so far unknown for the public was carried out at the Hungarian Filmlab.

For the reconstruction of the original version the Film Archive used the original camera ns
egative and outtakes, the only existing uncensored positive print and the original magnetic sound. Originally, the film didn’t contain the scene at the end of the film (tram scene taking place in the present) which was built in due to the directive of the cenzorship.  
The feature was first screened in Cannes in 1981 in the programme Un Certain Regard, then distributed in 32 countries.
„Blending comedy with tragedy to show up the absurdities of the system, the film wounded official political sensitivities, and it was immediately withdrawn and shelved for 10 years. When it was finally shown in Hungary, The Witness attracted a cult following, and some of Virág's expressions, such as "not being suspicious at all is most suspicious of all", have entered the lexicon.” (Ronald Bergan, The Guardian)


Restoration of Hungarian Film in the past 2 years

We have scanned and restored 44 feature films in 2017 and 2018 as part of the big restoration prorgamme of the Hungarian National Film Fund.


  • Az aranyember 
  • Feldobott kő
  • Bizalom
  • Redl ezredes
  • János vitéz
  • Hanussen
  • A tanú
  • Macskafogó
  • Tűzoltó utca
  • Keménykalap és krumpliorr
  • Örökbefogadás
  • Kárhozat
  • Megáll az idő
  • Apa
  • Édes Emma, drága Böbe
  • Sose halunk meg
  • Budapesti mesék
  • Holnap lesz fácán
  • Tüske a köröm alatt
  • Álmodozások kora
  • Sípoló macskakő
  • Eszkimó asszony fázik
  • Szép lányok, ne sírjatok


  • Valahol Európában
  • Körhinta
  • ​Hannibál tanár úr
  • Az én XX. századom
  • A Pál utcai fiúk
  • Két félidő a pokolban
  • Édes Anna
  • Az ötödik pecsét
  • Húsz óra
  • Mephisto
  • Ők ketten
  • 80 huszár
  • A veréb is madár
  • Moszkva tér
  • Szaffi
  • Utószezon
  • Hangyaboly
  • Circus Maximus
  • Fábián Bálint találkozása Istennel
  • Requiem
  • Dúvad
  • 141 perc a befejezetlen mondatból


Arri Workshop 2016

Our restoration crew together with Tereza Frodlová, restoration expert of the Czech National Film Archive (NFA) have held a presentation titled Concepts and dilemmas when restoring almost 100-year-old movies at Arri Archive Workshop 2016, Munich.

The lecture went on the importance of traditional lab background, the challenges of scanning such as shrinkage, physical damage or non-standard formats, challenges of 4K workflow such as handling big amount of data but the main topic was how the customer's demands towards film restoration – from basic digital archiving up to almost today's motion picture quality outcome – and the condition and quality of source materials determine the restoration workflow.

5 legendary Hungarian films on the 1956 revolution have been restored 

The Hungarian Filmlab together with Focux Fox Studio has performed the digital restoration of 5 important Hungarian films on the revolution in 1956. The 4K picture and sound restoration was done from the original negatives. The restoration project was supported by the Hungairan Academy of Arts and was carried out under the professional supervision of the Hungarian National Digital Archive and Film Institute.

The 5 legendary films were the following:
Love Film (1970, dir. István Szabó)
Love (1971, dir. Károly Makk)
Angi Vera (1979, dir. Pál Gábor)
Daniel takes a train (1983, dir. Pál Sándor)
Szamárköhögés (1987, dir. Péter Gárdos)

Love was screened at Cannes Classics this year. 


Digital Restoration of Czech Film Heritage at the Hungarian Filmlab 

Full 2K or 4K picture and sound restoration of 15 Czech film classics have been carried out in the past 1,5 years at the Hungarian Filmlab under the supervision of the restoration experts of the Czech National Film Archive (NFA). The project involved the restoration of the world famous opus, The Good Soldier, Švejk (Dobrý Voják Švejk) by Karel Stekly from 1957, IKARIE XB 1, an early Czech science fiction film from 1963 by Jindřich Polák premiered at the official selection of Cannes Classics 2016 and Such is Life (Takový je život) from 1928, directed by Carl Junghans and screened at Cinema Ritrovato Bologna 2016.

The restoration project was part of an internationally supported programme for the rescue, restoration, conservation, presentation and long term promotion of the Czech cultural heritage.

Full list of films restored in the project:
The films of Jan Kříženecký, short films from 1898-1908
Such Is Life (The Story of a Prague Washerwoman) /Takový je život/, 1928
From Saturday to Sunday /Ze soboty na neděli/, 1931
The Czech Year /Špalíček/, 1947
The Good Soldier Švejk /Dobrý voják Švejk/, 1956
Joseph Kilian /Postava k podpírání/, 1963
A Case for the New Hangman /Případ pro začínajícího kata/, 1966
The Hop-Pickers /Starci na chmelu/, 1964
Adelheid, 1969
Three Nuts for Cinderella /Tři oříšky pro Popelku/, 1973
Adela Has Not Had Supper Yet /Adéla ješte nevečeřela/, 1977
The White Disease /Bílá nemoc/, 1937
Krakatit, 1948
Beg to Report /Poslušně hlásím/, 1957
Ikarie XB 1, 1963


Further info at:

Jiří Trnka’s Old Czech Legends is premiered in London

17 October 2015 marks the date of the international premiere of the restored version of Jiří Trnka’s Old Czech Legends. The premiere takes place at the 59th BFI London Film Festival in its Treasures section.

„Back in April 2012 we were delighted to present a retrospective of the magical work of Jiří Trnka at the BFI Southbank. Our audiences loved the films so when we heard that the Czech National Film Archive were restoring one of Trnka’s key titles OLD CZECH LEGENDS we couldn’t wait to see the results. We were not disappointed! This special film has never looked so good and we were delighted to invite it to this year’s BFI London Film Festival. The excellent quality of the restoration will ensure that this 60 year old film will continue to inspire audiences of today.“ – said Julie Pearce, London Film Festival Programmer.

The image was scanned from the original nitrate negative preserved at the National Film Archive in Prague. The best available print was used as source for sound digitisation. Digital restoration was carried out int he Hungarian Filmlab under the supervision of the National Film Archive in 2015.




Hungarian Filmlab Award at the 70th FIAF Congress Skopje 2014

Hungarian Filmlab presented a €10,000 award at a gala during the 70th FIAF Congress in Skopje. 
The gala organised jointly by the Macedonian National Film Archive, the Embassy of Hungary in Skopje and Hungarian Filmlab and took place before a screening of the Manaki brothers', pioneers of cinematography in the Balkans, collected films. These nitrate films, which date back over a century, were restored by Hungarian Filmlab - an analogue restoration twenty years ago, followed by a digital restoration last year. 
Mimi Gjorgoska-Ilievsa, director of the Macedonian Film Archive, József Bence, Hungary's ambassador in Skopje opened the ceremony and Gábor Pintér, head of worldwide archive restoration at Hungarian Filmlab hosted event. László Aradi, director of the Hungarian Filmlab, presented the award to the winner of the film history contest of FIAF, Mr. Hisashi Okajima, head of the National Film Center in Tokyo. Among the numerous questions there was also one about Michael Curtiz’s The Undesirable / A tolonc currently being restored at the Hungarian Filmlab. The prize can be redeemed for 35 mm film scanning services. During the week-long conference, Zsolt Ormándlaky, head of Hungarian Filmlab's VFX studio and Szabolcs Barta, marketing director, were available to meet delegates at the company stand.


The above pictures are from the Embassy of Hungary in Skopje.

Hungarian Filmlab is proud to be a FIAF supporter.