THANOS magazine

Hungary | Europe | October 11, 2022

To be, or …?

Worldwide success of the short film featuring gravedigger competition in Hungary.

MTFE (Association of Cemetery Maintainers and Operators) preserve and pass on the traditions of the Hungarian funeral culture to new generations and secure recognition of the profession of gravediggers and cemetery operators. For many years MTFE has been the organizer of the gravedigger competition well known in the Visegrad countries. In 2022 the National Gravedigger’ Competition was organized for the 5th time in Hungary. The film showing this competition was an international success!

gravediggers competition 

Gravediggers do their job in an unnoticed way. During their daily work they make the last journeys with family members full of grace. However, the MTFE association seized every opportunity to distinguish our profession from the world of thought taboos, prejudices and meanings carrying merely sadness. For this reason MTFE annually organizes a gravedigging competition, where funeral service colleagues can show their profession in such a man-trying work they do every day. During these occasions the emotional burden may be replaced by the spirit of competition and the strained muscle work. The work of the association and its commitment to excel in – reaching well beyond the expectations of our profession – has recently received acknowledgement, which we are proud to share.

During the 4th Hungarian National Gravedigger’ Competition the prize winning film was produced! It is not a documentary, rather an inspiring, thought-provoking film étude about the paradox of life and human existence, offering a wide scope of dramaturgy from the English version of „To be or not to be” monologue of Prince Hamlet given by Mel Gibson to presenting the physical hardship and emotional challenges behind the everyday routine of the funeral business. Co-producers and artists Zsolt Pozsgai award-winner director and actor, and András Kerekes cinematographer, editor lend a fresh perspective to funeral services, offering the viewer a greater awareness and better understanding of a segment of our lives that is mostly still considered taboo, or is being treated with a kind of distancing or denial outside the professional funeral community. This film has made all of us funeral professionals visible to the world, as it has been awarded more than 20 times at short film festivals around the world – from Cannes to New York.

We would like to thank the film production crew for their outstanding work. Also, we would like to express how proud we are of our profession, our gravedigger colleagues, and grateful to belong to a team whose mission is to preserve the traditions and at the same time revive the rituals of mourning and remembrance in the funeral services.

We invite all FIAT-IFTA Members to watch the short film and read about the MTFE association.


Hungary is ready to establish The European championship for this professional event!

MTFE association invites teams created by every National Member of FIAT-IFTA to run!
Please let us know if you are interested in by writing on:



Global members

FIAT-IFTA is the only internationally governed funeral Federation with National, Active And Associate Members in more than 80 countries.

Find a member nearby Become a member