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30 Jan – 9 Feb 2025

Judit Elek

Filmmaker and screenwriter Judit ELEK (1937, Budapest) graduated in 1961 from the Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest (now the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest), and joined Mafilm as an assistant director. She is one of the founders of the Béla Balázs Studio for young filmmakers. Between 1962 and 2011, she made multiple short films, documentaries and features. The renowned film Maria’s Day (1984) screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. She was also one of the participants in the IFFR jubilee project 25 Encounters. Elek’s films are the subject of a focus programme at IFFR 2023, featuring titles such as Encounter (1963), Inhabitants of Castles in Hungary in 1966 (1966) and On the Field of God in 1972-73 (1973).


Találkozás/Encounter (1963), Kastélyok lakói/Inhabitants of Castles in Hungary in 1966 (1966), Meddig él az ember?/How Long Does Man Live? (1968), Sziget a szárazföldön/The Lady from Constantinople (1969), Találkozunk 1972-ben (Sötétben-világosban)/We Will Meet in 1972 – In Dark and in Light (1972), Istenmezején 1972-73-ban/On the Field of God in 1972-73 (1973), Az első fénykép/Tamás Cseh: The First Photo (1974), Egyszerű történet/A Commonplace Story (1975), Majd holnap/Maybe Tomorrow (1979), Vizsgálat Martinovics Ignác szászvári apát és társainak ügyében/The Trial of Martinovics and the Hungarian Jacobins (1981), Mária-nap/Maria’s Day (1984), Tutajosok/Memories of a River (1989), Ébredés/Awakening (1995), Mondani a mondhatatlant – Elie Wiesel üzenete/To Speak the Unspeakable – The Message of Elie Wiesel (1996), Egy szabad ember – Fisch Ernő élete/A Free Man – The Life of Ernő Fisch (1998), A hét nyolcadik napja/The Eighth Day of the Week (2006), És a halottak újra énekelnek/After All the Dead Sing Again… (2018), Visszatérés – Retrace (digital director’s cut) (2019)

Judit Elek at IFFR

  • Maybe Tomorrow

    A couple in love, but married to other partners. Harsh words, grainy views and tired promises.

    • Focus: Judit Elek
  • Maria’s Day

    A day in the death of one of Hungary’s most illustrious families, incomparable in its raw neediness.

    • Focus: Judit Elek
  • How Long Does Man Live?

    What is a human being worth in a society that measures value by productivity?

    • Focus: Judit Elek
  • After All the Dead Sing Again…

    Concert documentary about a performance of Chasidic songs by composer Max/Miksa/Mihai Eisikovits.

    • Focus: Judit Elek
  • The Eighth Day of the Week

    A former operetta diva is evicted in a tragicomedy about life never changing too much.

    • Focus: Judit Elek
  • Awakening

    Film à clef of Judit Elek’s teenage years in 1950s Budapest, between Stalinist rule and first longings.

    • Focus: Judit Elek
  • Tamás Cseh: The First Photo

    A television documentary about legendary singer/composer/actor Tamás Cseh.

    • Focus: Judit Elek
  • To Speak the Unspeakable – The Message of Elie Wiesel

    A key Holocaust recall and documentary journey with writer/activist/academic Elie Wiesel.

    • Focus: Judit Elek
  • A Commonplace Story

    Part two of Judit Elek’s Istenmezején documentary, where relationships with locals get both tighter and more ambivalent.

    • Focus: Judit Elek
  • Memories of a River

    A disturbingly sober presentation of the last trial in the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy rooted in antisemitism.

    • Focus: Judit Elek