In their welcome address for the first edition of Verzió Film Festival, festival patrons Miklós Jancsó and Ferenc Kőszeg proposed a challenge which was also an appeal of sorts: “Will Verzió become a tradition? That depends on all of us. Come and join us because human rights violations, wherever they happen, hurt us, too. Join us, because however many versions of these violations there may be, they all happen here, in our one and only world.” You did come. As a matter of fact, so many of you came to the first Verzió FF that the director of Budapest Film wrote a congratulatory letter to the organizers emphasizing the extraordinary success Verzió FF had achieved in only a few days by screening documentaries. And that was only the beginning. Since then, Verzió FF grew up to become a significant international forum for human rights documentaries attracting thousands of viewers each year in Budapest and other major cities in Hungary like Pécs, Szeged, Szombathely, Debrecen, Kecskemét, Miskolc as well as online. Next to the international and Hungarian lineups, the festival has featured student screenings, industry programs, concerts, exhibitions and much more each year.
This selection of photos wants to show the evolution and transformation of Verzió FF from the first edition to the twentieth - from the early screenings and venues (and amateur photos) to the complex, multi-venue programs, professional photographers and the transition from magnetic tapes and celluloid to DCP and VR programs. These photos are witnesses to the ever changing yet constant faces of this festival, its team, guests, volunteers, programs, and venues, and, perhaps most importantly, Verzió’s most loyal allies: you, the audiences without whom there would not have been a first and there would not be a 20th Verzió festival. In 2004, when it all started, patrons Miklós Jancsó and Ferenc Kőszeg said that it would be up to you, the audiences, whether Verzió would become a tradition. In the distance of two decades, we can confidently say that Verzió FF has become a tradition, which is not only thanks to the dedication and perseverance of the organizers and the funders. It is also thanks to you, the viewers, who have showed up with open minds and hearts in ever increasing numbers for two decades. As the only human rights film festival in Hungary, Verzió and its legacy must persevere for and with us.
Volunteer, coordinator and managing director of Verzió FF from 2006 to 2015
The exhibition will be on display between 23 and 29 November at Corvin cinema and can be viewed during the opening hours of the cinema.