Hamburg "Filmtage" ("film days"), "Filmwochen" ("film weeks") and
"Kinotage" ("cinema days") already existed in the Nineteen Fifties. They
were organized and arranged by Hamburg's film economy - Real-Film,
above all - together with German distribution companies.
filmmakers got together and organized the "1. Hamburger Filmschau"
("1st Hamburg film show"), a weekend that has entered the history books
of the young German film as a 'film-happening'.
few years later, various repertory theatres from all over the republic
founded the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kino" ("cinema association"), whose
headquarters have since remained in Hamburg, where they have been
organizing the annual "Hamburger Kinotage" since 1974.
the "Hamburger Erklärung" ("Hamburg declaration"), filmmakers Hark
Bohm, Werner Herzog, Volker Schlöndorff and Wim Wenders, a.o., opposed
heteronomy of the German film by "committees, institutions and interest
groups" and initiated the "Filmfest der Filmemacher" ("filmmakers'
29.10.1979 the "Hamburger Filmbüro e.V." ("Hamburg film office - reg.
assoc.") was founded by filmmakers from Hamburg, which brought the internationally significant "Europäische Low Budget Film
Forum" into existence (since 1986); a film show and film discussion with
participating directors and producers who were still unknown at the
time, such as Derek Jarman, Stephen Frears and Lars von Trier.
order to bundle energies and put dwindling public funds to more
effective use, the Low Budget Film Forum and the Kinotage joined forces in 1991 to coexist in the future as "Filmfest Hamburg". Founding
partners were the AG Kino e.V. and the Hamburger Filmbüro e.V. .
The Filmfest Hamburg took place for the first time in 1992, under the direction of Rosemarie Schatter.
film producer Gerhard von Halem took over as festival director. Despite
deliberate references to its predecessor-events, this "new" Hamburg
festival was something entirely different to the Kinotage or the Low
Budget Film Forum. While "young cinema" and "independent film" still
took up central positions, the atmosphere of Filmfest Hamburg has been
increasingly characterized by stars and glamour since 1994.
1995 - 2002
Wutz was director of the festival from 1995 to 2002. Under his
direction, the festival was continually elaborated and was established
within the industry and the audience as a festival for independent
films. Furthermore, the festival now supplied film productions from
Hamburg with their own display window. Also, the new media and their
businesses received a platform for presentation and discussion at the
2003 - today
January 2003, Albert Wiederspiel takes over the direction of Filmfest
Hamburg. Since then the variety of national and international films is
constantly expanding. For its 20th anniversary in 2012 Filmfest Hamburg showed 148
movies coming from 44 countries. 2013 Filmfest Hamburg is celebrating its 21st edition.