Under the motto "Filmfest for everyone – everywhere in Hamburg", the first Filmfest in Hamburg opened in 1992. To date, around 3,000 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. Accompanied by the inauguration of Albert Wiederspiel, the first MICHEL Children's and Youth Film Festival
took place in 2003.
FILMFEST HAMBURG is a film festival for the public, frequented by more than 45,000 cinema fans every year. Over the course of ten days in autumn, around 140 national and international feature films and documentaries are shown on eleven screens for their world, European or German premiere. In ten permanent and annually changing sections
, the programme ranges from cinematically sophisticated arthouse films and innovative mainstream cinema to a colourful film and events programme for the youngest cinema visitors.
FILMFEST HAMBURG presents the first productions of young German and international filmmakers, as well as the films of renowned directors. Not only this, but television productions also make their debut on the big screen before being shown 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, Wim Wenders, Jafar Panahi and Nina Hoss – personalities who have made a special contribution towards film culture and the film industry – have received the Douglas Sirk Award
, which was introduced in 1995, on the big cinema stage.
As a platform for cultural exchange and dialogue, a large number of the films are presented in person by the film creators in Hamburg. Numerous events make the FILMFEST HAMBURG an important meeting point for cinema enthusiasts and the film industry alike.