Story Bridge Budapest 2019

Story-market for filmmakers.


The program was held with the support of the EEA and Norway Grants.




Real Pearl


Storyteller: Nóra L. Ritók, founder and president of Real Pearl Foundation
Móni Balogné is a 45-year-old Romani woman. She only received primary education in a special-needs school, then she got married and led the traditional life of a vlax Romani mother: difficulties, tragedies, fight for making ends meet, fight for her children… all of this in an isolated village deprived of opportunities, where each and every problem of the Roma issue and the generational poverty is present. Then the Real Pearl Foundation (Igazgyöngy Alapítvány) appeared at Tolda, and showed a new direction to Móni as well. The changes that happened to her personality and her life during this time are wonderfully telling examples of what “empowering” can mean in a person’s life.Móni’s life is a huge struggle in a segregation fraught with obstacles, especially if she fights for change or decides to compete in the next local elections. How could someone be able to shape a community shattered into pieces? How is she supposed to face herself, her family, her past? What does the future hold for her? A school leaving examination? Or a locally elected official finding her own way throughout the practice of participatory democracy? A person, who is the catalyst of a community, the one shaping other’s destinies? Móni can take us to the most diverse human destinies.





Trapped Into The System


Storyteller: Márta Kormos and Bulcsú Mihály | The Kontúr Association has put up a fight for the families
After work, Péter goes to the neighboring district’s school to pick up her daughter and take her home. His children are not allowed to travel or even step into the hallway alone, just like any other worker, student or pensioner in their neighborhood. The infamous blocks of Hős Street 15/A and 15/B are the best-known ghettos of Budapest, where squatters live next to families and drugged zombies loiter in the overwhelming filth. The problem has been known for decades, but it became unmanageable by now. Rats, pitch dark, gunshots, children’s laughter. A decision was made: the block needs to be demolished. However, no one knows where the 400 tenants (including 120 children) of the building will live. The legal situation is unconventional—some of the flats belong to the local authorities, almost half of them are privately owned. The eviction negotiations made the tenants feel impossible: they are unable to stay, but they cannot move without the appropriate measures from the local authorities. The expropriation has begun, however, the lack of dialogue between the tenants and the district makes it even more difficult. What will happen to Péter’s family? How many families will find a new home, how many will become homeless and who will be the ones to lose the roof from above their heads again? The house represents all aspects of Budapest’s social and drug problems. The question is how demolishing the building would solve any of these.








Storyteller: Henrietta Kovács | The Autistic Art Foundation
Nóri blows gigantic soap bubbles. Nóri likes painting and drawing. Nóri is 26 years old and as a resident of the Miskolc Autism Foundation (MAA), she lives in a small universe. In this small universe, young autistic people can live in harmony, are surrounded by their peers, and have developmental therapies enriching their everyday lives. We are no strangers to their goals: having a partner with whom they can share their joy and grief, being able to create, and living a life of dignity. It has been a deep and painful procedure that lead Nóri’s mother to the realization that her daughter can have a better, safer and more meaningful life at the residence than in her own home. Nóri blows soap bubbles and her drawings serve as thesis topics for the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design’s (MOME) students, while contemporary designers are recognizing her graphics. With their sincere humour and charm, her gigantic soap bubbles are effortlessly attracting more and more neurotypical people.The Autistic Art Foundation keeps art therapy classes at 6 residences. Around 15,000 drawings have been created on these occasions. Henrietta Kovács from the Foundation will introduce this small universe to us, enabling us to enter the bubbles of Nóri and people like her. At these bubbles, we get a chance to see the grieving process and the joy of creation, reaching even as far as contemporary visual arts.





Once Upon A Time


Storytellers: Annamária Huszár, president of the Tévelygőkért Foundation and Attila Oláh, experiential colleague
Once upon a time there was a story circle, and what better place could it happen than in a prison. In this story circle, the players were prisoners who “played” at the prison’s chapel for seven years. But how is that they played? They told stories about their lives by setting up two tales each year that they presented to their children during the special visiting hours. Well, there was laughter and tears, joy and fear, grief and amazement, but most of all, there was love and a wonder, that enchanted the viewers and the actors as well. Everybody could be somewhat different than they used to be. In fact, not only ‘somewhat’ different, as there were people, who wanted to be a tree, while others played Snow White or the witch, a policeman, a prison officer, a snitch, a dealer, and who knows what else.Attila also told his tale, that began at a dark night, when he was only four, and his mother took him together with his siblings to the woods, taking an ax with her too…At that time, he escaped her, but later on, he could not run away from the prison. Is there a life after prison? For most people, there is not. Attila however could leave the past behind and in the present chapter of his life, he is listening to the tales of those young people, who have one foot in prison.





Civilian Courage


► Speaker: Veronika Móra, Ökotárs Foundation
The Norwegian Civil Fund is a program promoting the approximation of and providing support for the recently joined and/or less developed member states of the European Union. The Civil Fund’s overall objective is to promote the development of the civil society and enhance its participation in the shaping of social justice, democracy and sustainable development.In April 2014, János Lázár (minister of the Prime Minister’s Office) wrote a letter to the Norwegian government, addressing the person responsible for development. We could hear about his letter from the press, just like Veronika Móra, director of Ökotárs Foundation helping the Civil Fund in implementing the tender procedure. This marked the beginning of something that has been unknown to the representatives of the civil society until now.The next period has shown a number of Government Control Office (KEHI) audits, tax permit suspensions, illegal searches and seizures, examinations by the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV), denigrations, leaks, distortion of the truth, vile accusations, charges and trials. How did the civil society deal with this? What is the motivation behind the constant harassment of and pressure on the independent civil society?









Speaker: Dr Júlia Spronz, lawyer of the Patent Association
Following a violent argument, Gabriella took her three minor children and ran away from her husband. Previous to this occasion, the man had threatened her several times. Emotional cruelty, physical and sexual harassment were part of their family’s everyday life. Even after the divorce, the children were still showing symptoms of anxiety—they wet their beds and were dreading leaving the house without their mother. Gabriella turned to an independent child psychiatrist, who found out that the children had probably been sexually abused by their father. The Department for Child Protection has not taken any steps, and the seconded expert made the conclusion that maintaining a contact with the father is not harmful for the children. The children wildly protested against visitation and “sleepovers”, and tried to escape the first time, as a consequence of which even the police got involved. However, nobody cared to investigate what the children were so afraid of. Thereafter they were not willing to sleep over at their father’s. The Department for Child Protection has consistently stated that the mother should be blamed for the lack of contact between the members of the family, as it is her duty to prepare the children for the visits. Consequently, Gabriella was deprived of her custody rights for failing to ensure visitation rights. She had five days to hand over the children to their father. In the end, an arrest warrant was issued against her by the police on the initiative of the father. But what will happen to the children?According to estimates, there are tens of thousands of children in Hungary who are forced by the authorities to stay in touch with a separated parent or other members of the family.