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13. September 2022


FILMFEST HAMBURG suspends the award ceremony this year, but shows the film Sparta by Ulrich Seidl as a German premiere. A statement by festival director Albert Wiederspiel and programme director Kathrin Kohlstedde.


On the occasion of the German premiere of Ulrich Seidl’s Sparta, we had planned to award this year’s Douglas Sirk Prize to the Austrian director. This can also be seen in the printed programme.


The accusations against the production around the working conditions during the making of the film came up after our booklet was already in print.


We included the film in the programme because of its outstanding quality. It is a very sensitive film about a particularly difficult and taboo subject. The accusations against Ulrich Seidl are directed against the conditions during the shooting and explicitly not against his film.


We have therefore decided to leave the film in the programme. In addition, we will also show Rimini, the Berlinale entry from 2022, which completes the cinematic diptych around the story of two brothers.


Regarding the Douglas Sirk Prize, we have decided not to award the prize as the current allegations against the production would overshadow an award ceremony.


Hamburg, 13 September 2022


Albert Wiederspiel, Festival Director

Kathrin Kohlstedde, Head of Programme

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