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Festival info

Cinema for everyone

FILMFEST HAMBURG is a film festival for the public.

According to the motto »Filmfest for everyone – everywhere in Hamburg«, the first film festival opened in Hamburg in 1992. To date, around 3000 national and international film productions have celebrated their world, European or German premieres at FILMFEST HAMBURG. The festival has grown continuously over the years, with the number of visitors increasing tenfold since 1992. When Albert Wiederspiel took office in 2003, the first MICHEL Children’s and Youth Festival took place.


Every autumn, FILMFEST HAMBURG attracts more than 45,000 cinema fans.Over ten days, around 130 national and international feature films and documentaries are shown on 14 screens. The programme spectrum in ten sections ranges from cineastically sophisticated art house films to innovative mainstream cinema and a colourful film and event programme for the youngest cinema-goers. FILMFEST HAMBURG presents the first productions of young German and international filmmakers as well as the films of established directors. In addition, it brings television productions to the big screen before they are broadcast on TV.


Directors and actors such as Clint Eastwood, Jodie Foster, Steven Frears, Peter Weir, Jim Jarmusch, Wong Kar-Wai, François Ozon, Isabelle Huppert, David Cronenberg, Tilda Swinton and Wim Wenders received the Douglas Sirk Award, introduced in 1995, as personalities who have rendered outstanding services to film culture and the film industry.

Due to the Covid pandemic, all prizes except the Audience Award were suspended in 2020, but in 2019 FILMFEST HAMBURG awarded prize money totalling 125,000 euros, including the Hamburg Producers Award for German Film Productions, endowed with 25,000 euros, donated by the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media.


Other awards include the Douglas Sirk Awards, the Hamburg Producers Award for International Cinema Co-Productions, donated by the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media, the Hamburg Producers Prize for German TV Productions, donated by the Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten (VFF), the Sichtwechsel Film Award, donated by the Federal Foreign Office, the FILMFEST HAMBURG Audience Award, The Political Film of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the MICHEL Award, donated by Hamburger Kulturstiftung, the Art Cinema Award, the NDR Young Talent Award and the Critics’ Choice Award.


As a platform for cultural exchange and dialogue, the majority of the films are presented by the filmmakers themselves in Hamburg. Numerous events make FILMFEST HAMBURG an important meeting place for cinema enthusiasts and the film industry alike.


From 30 September to 9 October 2021, FILMFEST HAMBURG invites you to its 29th edition in the Abaton, CinemaxX Dammtor, Metropolis, Passage and Studio-Kino cinemas. The 19th MICHEL Film Festival will take place from 1 to 5 October.

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