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Profile of Filmmaker Tamás Wormser


Marguerite Marlin


Tamàs WormserTamás Wormser, who grew up in Budapest and now lives in Montréal, has established himself as a presence on the Canadian and International film scene in the years following his immigration to Canada from Hungary in 1986. His films have garnered many international awards and recognition, including a nomination for Best Documentary at the 2006 Montreal World Film Festival, and have been described in the press as “original, beautiful, low-key” (The Globe and Mail) with Wormser himself described as having “a way of showing us the beauty beyond what is ostensibly ordinary” (Montreal Mirror). His filmmaking endeavours have ranged from documentaries to works of fiction and experimental fiction; however, he says an approach that he applies to many of his films is "to take a very simple subject and go around it with a very open mind and examine it cross-culturally." The often anthropological approach of his films, Wormser said in a recent interview, is linked to his Canadian experience and inspired by it, and notes that the multicultural aspect of Canadian society made a deep impression on him. "It grabbed me that Canada was so multicultural” said Wormser, “I don't think these films could have been made in any other country".


Wormser has previously documented traditional rituals within the Hungarian-Canadian community such as Toronto and Montreal debutante balls in The Ball of Their Lives. Of this type of cultural celebration, he said it is interesting to see how it interacts with modern society. "I see the formality of the Austro-Hungarian ritual, the dancing, the ball, the manners — [the participants] are from all backgrounds, not only Hungarian. It doesn't leave its Hungarian roots, but it is transformed."


Child smiles experiencing waterWormser’s new film, Travelling Light, (premiering April 4-10, 9:30pm at Cinema du Parc in Montréal –see our What’s New page, follows the lives and lifestyles of nomadic artists in 11 countries, exploring the relationship between travel and creativity. The film has been described as one that “celebrates man’s ability to keep searching for beauty” (Paul Cox). The artists depicted are those who thrive on a sense of rootlessness because, as Wormser said, they can keep reinventing themselves. He said the film is directly linked to the immigrant experience, and that the immigrant’s challenge is to find a home within. “When you leave for the new place, it will never be your home;  but the old place will never be your home again. The first generation's experience is this homelessness. It can be hard for many people, but it can by liberating for some."


For more information on Tamas Wormser, see his website at

This piece was contributed by Marguerite Marlin, a graduate student at the Carleton University Institute for European and Russian Studies (EURUS) who is doing an internship with the Canada Hungary Educational Foundation this term. She is working on additional articles for us.

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