Legendary Hungarian director Béla Tarr to teach at Prague’s FAMU film school

Renowned Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr will head to Prague later next month to lead an entire semester of instruction for master’s and doctoral students at the Czech capital’s renowned film school FAMU (Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts).

This marks the first time that a foreign filmmaker will be part of the school’s mentoring program for such an extended period. Under Tarr’s guidance, students at FAMU will have the opportunity to consult with him on script dramaturgy, narrative techniques, creating dramatic situations, as well as exploring various forms of representing reality.

Tarr is widely recognized as one of the most significant contemporary filmmakers worldwide. His films, such as 1994’s seven-hour epic Sátántangó and 2011’s The Turin Horse, have been screened across at prestigious festivals across the globe including playing in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

Tarr’s body of work encompasses a diverse range of genres, exploring the vision of the modern world through documentary-style and distinctively stylized apocalyptic films. His 2007 The Man from London, which he co-directed with Ágnes Hranitzky, starred Czech actor Miroslav Krobot in the lead role opposite Tilda Swinton as his character’s wife.

Béla Tarr is one of those exceptional auteurs who has consistently conceptualized the use of film language from the beginning of his career. His philosophical reflections on film time and camera work are well-known. He has become renowned for his distinctive visual style and poetic expression,” Andrea Slováková, Dean of FAMU, states in a press release.

“Despite his own stylistic uniqueness, he encourages students to think freely and find their own cinematic language, as demonstrated during his mentoring sessions two years ago. I am thrilled that he will be the first filmmaker to bring this approach to an entire semester of teaching.”

Beginning with Tarr’s participation this fall, the mentoring program at FAMU aims to connect students with the contemporary global film scene. Through this program, the next generation of filmmakers will have the opportunity to learn from acclaimed and idiosyncratic professionals in various fields, engaging in intensive practical workshops and individual consultations.

The mentorship project at FAMU has been made possible with financial support from the European Union through the National Recovery Plan and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

“It is a great honor for us that our students have gained the trust of Béla Tarr, and he has agreed to an extended teaching commitment,” adds David Čeněk, FAMU‘s vice dean for international relations.

“For our faculty, it is also a step forward in the development of the mentoring program and its integration into the study programs. Most importantly, we believe that this approach will nurture natural talent and enhance the artistic aspect of our graduates’ films.”

Béla Tarr will also be awarded an honorary doctorate from Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts on October 31. This prestigious recognition, accompanied by the title of professor (granted by the President of the Czech Republic in the case of professorship), represents the highest honor for an individual’s life and work.

The first honorary doctorate was awarded to Václav Havel in 1996. Over the past 27 years, 19 internationally acclaimed artists have received this honorary title. Many of them, including Miloš Forman, Jan Švankmajer, and Agnieszka Holland, studied at FAMU themselves.


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