February 15, 2012, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Outside the Box [Office] invites you and a guest to a special screening of

There Was Once...

Directed by Gabor Kalman
Produced by Gabor Kalman and Gabor Garami
Introduced by Branko Lustig
Producer, "Schindler's List", "Gladiator"
Followed by a Q&A with Gabor Kalman
Moderated by Dr. Marsha Kinder, Ph.D.
7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The Ray Stark Family Theatre
George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
"…wholly absorbing and poignant documentary…" "...fine, illuminating film."
-- Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times
“Leave a record. Preserve the facts. “There Was Once ...” serves that function precisely.” “…a worthy document…”
-- David DeWitt, The New York Times
“…vitally personal…”
-- Michelle Orange, The Village Voice, LA Weekly

About There Was Once...

Gabor Kalman’s documentary feature There Was Once... tells the inspiring story of Gyöngyi Mago, a Hungarian Catholic high school teacher striving to chart a new course of tolerance in her conflict-ridden hometown, Kalocsa, Hungary. While looking for a subject for her dissertation, she discovers a forgotten part of local history: the Jewish community that once thrived but is now non-existent in her city.

Engaging her students in her research, she teaches tolerance and battles prejudice in her classroom. Her quest is set against a backdrop of renewed racial tensions, growing intolerance, and the alarming rise of neo-Nazism in modern-day Hungary. To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the liquidation of the local ghetto and deportation of the Jews to Auschwitz and other camps, she organizes an emotional memorial service, attended by survivors and their relatives, along with students, city officials, and the Archbishop. At the same time, a neo-Nazi protest takes place nearby.

Not rated. Running time: 103 minutes. In English and Hungarian, with English subtitles.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.


About the Guest

GABOR KALMAN (Director/Producer) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker.He is adjunct professor at Occidental College (2007- 2010) and at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (1984-present) and formerly at USC School of Cinematic Arts (1987-2007). He is a founding member of the International Documentary Association and served on its board for nine years. He created the prestigious David L. Wolper Student Documentary Achievement Awards. As a Senior Fulbright Scholar he taught at the Academy of Theater and Film Arts in Budapest, Hungary and most recently as a Senior Fulbright Specialist. He is a frequent lecturer, panelist and juror at various national and international film festivals, conferences and universities in countries including Israel, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, and Canada.

Gabor was ten years old when Hitler marched into Hungary and he was forced into hiding. He survived the War, the Holocaust, and Soviet occupation. He continued his studies, but his academic career was constantly interrupted by rapidly developing political events. As a university student he participated in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and subsequently fled Hungary for the United States. He received a BA in Physiology from the University of California Berkeley and an MA in Communication Film and Television from Stanford University. Over the years he has produced and directed numerous award-winning documentary films, including Keepers of Memory: Stories of Hidden Children, Fifteen French Architects in Los Angeles, and We Are All One People. His program segments “Now I Am a Man” and “The Envelope Please” for KCET’s documentary series “Turning Points,” received an Emmy nomination.

DR. MARSHA KINDER, Ph.D. (Moderator, USC Professor)

Learning about Spanish cinema, narrative theory, children’s media culture, and digital culture, USC students benefit from the expertise of Marsha Kinder, a prolific film scholar whose works on Spanish cinema (Blood Cinema and Refiguring Spain) and children's media (Playing with Power and Kids' Media Culture ) have been particularly influential.

She is the author of more than 100 published essays and 10 books. For more than a decade, Marsha Kinder has been a leading force in determining the direction new modes of expression are taking narrative possibilities.

Dr. Kinder is also founding director of The Labyrinth Project, where she has overseen the development of DVD-ROMs, interactive installations and Websites that have taken materials traditionally expressed in films and books and transformed them into award-winning database documentaries.

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain. The weekly screenings will be on Wednesday and Sunday nights (and other select dates, as they arise) in the School of Cinematic Arts Complex, George Lucas Building.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago