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László Józsa • Producer

“Making documentaries is like being constantly on the road”


- One of the 2018 Emerging Producers, Speak Easy Project's László Józsa, talks to us about documentaries and what he thinks about their future

László Józsa • Producer

One of Jihlava's 2018 Emerging Producers, Speak Easy Project's László Józsa, talks to us about documentaries and what he thinks about their future.

Why do you produce documentaries? Do you believe that they have the power to change the world?
László Józsa: Making documentaries is like being constantly on the road. An endless road-trip through unexpected adventures, into the lives of people, who you would not have a chance to meet otherwise. When you make a documentary, you have to earn the trust of your protagonist by honestly sharing your motivations and understanding theirs. It is the best way to make adult friendships, and to extend your family in a way. Therefore, documentaries make an impact on the lives and motivations of the people involved and the film allows these motivations to be projected on a bigger screen and allows audience to take part in this experience. 

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Also, making documentaries teaches both you and the subject of your film that you have to trust the "God of documentaries" that everything is going to work out in the end. It just requires patience. Trust, belief and patience make the world a better place.

What do you think is the future of distribution of documentary films?
Hard question. We made our first documentaries without the involvement of commissioning editors, using our own savings and there was no platform to screen our film. So we had to go ahead and create our platforms and create our own audience in a way. Later, we were fortunate enough to work in a professional environment and work with fantastic and experienced executive producers, and broadcast distribution and sales agents were at hand. Our films also reached a wider audience on various traditional platforms with much stricter rules. There are million different ways to distribute your films these days. 

What projects do you have under way?
- Ghetto Balboa, directed by Árpád Bogdán, which is a feature-length documentary. It is a story of a young boxer and a former mafia man about the hopes and dreams of escaping the Budapest ghetto – the notorious 8th district. Planned release: Spring 2018.
- Missing 10 Hours, directed by Krisztina Meggyes, feature-length documentary in development.
After being offered a drink in a club, Krisztina woke up at the police station without any memories. She was too ashamed to ask questions so she still does not know what happened to her. While  searching for the 10 stolen hours – supposedly caused by GHB, a ”date rape drug” – we  reveal the possibilities of what could happen in a case like hers and we discover a frequent and severe issue that everybody keeps quiet about. Developed in co-production with HBO Europe and the Hungarian National Film Fund.


Emerging Producers is a promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.

Deadline for applications to the Emerging Producers 2019 edition is 31 March, 2018. Click here.

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