The Béla Balázs Studio was born in 1959 as a grassroot initiative of young filmmakers engaged in the renewal of Hungarian cinematorgraphy, and became institutionalized in 1961 due to the support from the cultural policy-makers of post-56 consolidation.
In the 70s, the BBS, besides young filmmakers graduated from the Hungarian Film Academy, also started to admit “outsiders” in its ranks. Throughout the decade, the Studio was a site of passionate debates animating a progressive workshop atmosphere where experimental, conceptual tendencies competed with documentarist approaches engaged in a social transformation.
Breaking with the avant-guardist attitude, the BBS in the 80s became a free space of “institutional dissidence” characteristic of the time, and a major workshop of Hungarian video-art that by documenting the process of democratization contributed substantially to the deconstruction of state-socialism in Hungary.
Questioning its raison d’etre, the dominant cultural policies of the 90s doomed the workshop to slow atrophy. The Balázs Béla Studio signed its last production in 2005 and ceased to exist in 2010.
The BBS Research Archive was created as a joint initiative of the Balázs Béla Studio Foudation, the Műcsarnok/Kunsthalle Budapest and the Hungarian National Film Archive in 2006. The purpose of the Archive is to disseminate the films and various documents produced during the 50 years of the BBS’ activity. The digital copies and the documents preserved in the library of Műcsarnok/Kunsthalle are available for consultation in the library during official opening hours. Műcsarnok non -profit Ltd. is sustained by the Hungarian Academy of Arts.