Everything in the flow
13. September 2022
Films from the most important international festivals in Cannes, Locarno and Venice celebrate their German premieres at FILMFEST HAMBURG, including the Golden Palm winner Triangle of Sadness by Ruben Östlund, Kilian Riedhof’s Locarno entry Meinen Hass bekommt ihr nicht and The Banshees Of Inisherin by Martin McDonagh, which recently won the Best Screenplay Award in Venice. Lead actor Colin Farrell was honoured with the Copa Volpi for Best Actor. The Iranian Competition film by Jafar Panahi, No Bears, received the Special Jury Prize and Word War III by Houman Seyedi the Orizzonti Award for Best Film and Best Actor (Mohsen Tanabandeh). The anniversary edition of FILMFEST HAMBURG opens with Hans-Christian Schmid’s film We are on of kin and ends on 8 October with the Moroccan film The Blue Caftan by Maryam Touzani. A total of 116 feature films from 58 producing countries are on the programme, 22 cinema and television films, celebrate their world premiere in Hamburg. The Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival, which is hosting its national competition with two short film programmes and seven feature-length films in the Hanseatic city, will be a guest.
The filmmakers in this year’s FILMFEST programme deal with transformations across all programme sections. In terms of content, their films are about breaking down boundaries and certainties; formally, they are about expanding and leaving behind familiar film languages: In Alex Schaad’s feature-length debut Aus meiner Haut, a young couple sees the world through different eyes through a body-swapping ritual; in Ann Oren’s Piaffe, it is the female body that is transformed. Lukas Dohnt’s sensitive coming-of-age drama Close is about the closeness, distance and estrangement of two teenage best friends. The Banshees of Inisherin by Martin McDonagh also tells of the dissolution of a friendship. Léa Mysius has her protagonist in Five Devils reproduce people’s scents and look into family abysses, and in R.M.N. – the sequence of letters is the Romanian acronym for magnetic resonance imaging – Christian Mungiu puts his finger into the wounds of an increasingly sick society. Patricio Guzmán offers hope for real political change with his new film My Imaginary Country. He shows the protests against Chile’s established system and their violent repression, which nevertheless cannot stop the demonstrators in their striving for a better government and a better life. The satire Continental Drift (South) is about displacements. With sharp wit, Swiss director Lionel Baier takes a look at the neuroses of state actors and NGOs in the context of European refugee policy. The films Blaze by the Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton, among others, break through the boundaries of familiar film language. In a mixture of real film, animation and puppet film, she immerses herself in the emotional world of a girl. The film Human Flowers of Flesh by Hamburg filmmaker Helena Wittmann, set at sea, also dissolves the boundaries of form and linear narrative. Mikko Myllylahtis tells his debut film The Woodcutter Story as a black comedy, and Simon Rieth’s film debut and brother story Summer Scars moves between reality and fantasy.
Films from Asia
Chang Teng-Yuan’s film Days Before the Millennium, which will be shown as a European premiere in the “Asia Express” section, focuses on the experience of Vietnamese migrant women in Taiwan since the 1990s. With leaps in time, unusual perspectives, the exchange of its protagonist and the playful change between image formats, the film questions conventional narrative and also deals with the transformation of its country in terms of content. In particular, he deals with the conflict with the People’s Republic, which threatened the country in 1996 much as it does today, when Taiwan ended one-party rule and the first free elections pointed the way to democracy. In his new epic A Tale of Filipino Violence, Lav Diaz also describes the changes of a country from the years of Spanish colonisation, to American rule, to the bloody oppression and exploitation of the people by dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and also addresses recent political developments in the Philippines. In Homage, director Shin Su-won tells of the inequalities in the film industry that persist to this day, and in the process calls for cinema history to be rewritten. The Japanese contribution Roleless by Kentaro Hirase, Yutaro Seki and Masahiko Sato places the life of an extra at the centre of the images and thus looks at genre cinema from an idiosyncratic perspective. In Stone Turtle by Woo Ming Jin, a woman and her niece have to leave Indonesia for Malaysia after a murder in the name of honour. The two end up on a mysterious island. When a man with obscure intentions arrives on the island, it sets in motion a process in which temporalities, Malaysian traditions, stories from comic books and revenge narratives intermingle in an intense narrative experiment.
Contemporary cinema in focus
This year’s two filmmakers in focus Ruth Mader and Santiago Mitre are united by their cinematic look at power and social structures. The Austrian filmmaker stages her latest film Serviam – I will serve as a thriller. In a Catholic boarding school for girls, a young nun relies on pure doctrine against the inexorable progress of the secularisation of society. Mader’s earlier works Struggle will also be shown together with the short film Gfrasta and the documentary What is Love. Ruth Mader is a guest in Hamburg and will give an extensive talk about her work following the screening of Struggle at the Metropolis Kino. Santiago Mitres, born in Buenos Aires, presents his film Argentina, 1985 in Hamburg. It is a film about power. The gripping political thriller is based on true events and tells of the trial of the members of the Argentinean military junta from 1976 to 1983. Other films in this year’s programme are Petite Fleur (15 Ways to Kill Your Neighbour) and The Student. The extensive discussion with the Argentinean director will take place after the premiere of Argentina, 1985 in the FILMFEST BAR, Kasematte20.
Iranian Cinema & Films from the Islamic World
FILMFEST HAMBURG has been committed to Iranian cinema and its filmmakers for years. This year’s programme includes four films, among them No Bears, the new film by Jafar Panahi, who is currently in prison, and Vahid Jalilvand’s entry in the Venice competition, Beyond The Wall, which tells of police violence and state oppression and of a woman who seeks refuge and trust with the blind Ali. The Iranian contribution World War III by Hooman Seyyedi, which won several awards in Venice, initially comes across as a comedy. But the filming of a Hitler parody gets out of control and brings forth the new evil. Another film is the Cannes-winning Danish-German-Swedish-French co-production Holy Spider by Danish-based Iranian Ali Abbasi.
In addition to the fairytale-like closing film The Blue Caftan by Moroccan director Maryam Touzani, FILMFEST HAMBURG will also be showing other films by filmmakers from the Islamic world: also from Morocco is the feminist road movie Queens by Yasemine Benkiran, about three women who set out on the road to freedom. Banu by Tahmina Rafaella is a divorce drama and a film about a custody battle in the midst of the turmoil of the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. With The Last Queen, the Algerian director couple Damien Ounouri and Adila Bendimerad stage the legend of Zaphira, the last queen of Algeria, as an opulent historical film with action elements.
Films as a mirror of the current world situation
Two films from the “Transatlantic” section take a historical look at anti-black racism in the USA: In his autobiographical coming-of-age drama Armageddon Time, James Gray sketches an America in the early 1980s dominated by racism, inequality and profound prejudice. Franco-Canadian Anais Barbeau-Lavalette’s White Dog, based on an autobiographical story by Romain Gary, is about a dog trained to attack black demonstrators during the height of racial hatred in the late 1960s. Two films in the programme deal with the attack on the Bataclan theatre in November 2015. In his film Meinen Hass bekommt ihr nicht, Kilian Riedhof follows a man who gives a very remarkable response to the horror of terror. The screenplay for the drama, shot entirely in French and focusing on the inner view of those affected, is based on the bestseller of the same name by real-life journalist and author Antoine Leiris. In November, Cédric Jimenez tells the story of the five-day search for the perpetrators of the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015 and stages his film as a suspenseful police thriller.
Portraits of artists
Six films take a documentary and fictional approach to well-known film directors, an actor, an activist couple and two musicians: Fatih Akin’s latest film Rheingold tells the story of Xatar, who made it from prison to successful musician and entrepreneur, based on his own biography “Alles oder Nix”. In FCK 2020 – Two and a Half Years with Scooter, Cordula Kablitz-Post portrays the bandleader of Scooter, Hans Peter Geerdes aka H.P. Baxxter. For the first time, the film interweaves private and exclusive archive footage of the band’s 26-year history with Baxxter’s emotional highs and lows through the Corona crisis and explores the crucial question of what happens when parties and gigs are banned. In the documentary Lars Eidinger – To be or not to be, director Reiner Holzemer approaches the exceptional artist through his acting and artistic biography. In the film, Eidinger shows how he works out his roles and gives the audience an intimate insight into his working methods. Julie Bertuccelli’s Jane Campion – The Cinema Woman takes a subjective look at the Australian filmmaker and Oscar winner and shows her as a subtle observer of the human soul and as a filmmaker who is at once discreet and whimsical, gentle and cheeky and sometimes misunderstood. Hamburg-born Douglas Sirk, the master of cinematic melodrama, is the focus of the documentary Douglas Sirk – Hope as in Despair by Roman Hüben. Through the previously unpublished diary entries it becomes clear: melodrama was Sirk’s life itself. To this day, Beate and Serge Klarsfeld fight for a defensible democracy and against fascism: Klarsfeld: A Love Story by Martin Herring and Mike Lerner is a mosaic of archive material and contemporary testimonies. The film makes clear why this special couple is not only entitled to a significant place in post-war history, but also in the present, which is threatened by right-wing extremism.
Television films on the big screen & films for young cinema-goers
Eight feature-length films in the “Television” section are competing for the Hamburg Producer Award for German Television Productions, which is endowed with 25,000 euros. The prize money is donated by the VFF Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten. Among others, Die Bürgermeisterin, played by Anna Schudt, will be shown. In Christiane Balthasar’s film (director), a local politician is targeted by right-wing circles. In Klima retten für Anfänger (director: Tomy Wigand), a 17-year-old climate activist negotiates with her parents about achieving climate goals on a small scale. In addition, this year’s VFF Special Prize of 10,000 euros will be awarded for the second time to one of five serial formats, including German Crime Story: Gefesselt (director: Florian Schwarz) about the abductions of master furrier Raik Doormann, a believer in astrology, in the 1980s and 1990s, and Lamia (director: Süheyla Schwenk), a turbulent family story between two cultures.
The MICHEL Children’s and Youth Film Festival, an integral part of FILMFEST HAMBURG since 2003, will open on 30 September with the film Lucy Wanted (director: Till Endemann). Along with this film, six more films will be competing for the MICHEL Film Prize, which is endowed with 5,000 euros. This year’s prize is provided by the Hamburg Cultural Foundation and von Berlichingen & Partner Steuerberatungsgesellschaft and will be awarded on 5 October by the MICHEL jury, which is made up of children and young people. Other competition films include The Time of Secrets, How To Get Your Parents To Divorce, the documentary One in a Million, How I learned to fly and the animated film Yuku’s Search for the Himalayan Flower. The Dutch graduation film Oink (directed by Mascha Halberstadt) is also nominated for the MICHEL Film Award. Most of the films will be shown in the original version and will be dubbed into German live in the cinema. Out of competition, two new episodes of Pfefferkörner will also be presented this year, as well as the “Reihe für Minis”, an educationally accompanied short film programme for children aged four and up. Outside the competition, the programme also includes the animated film My Fairy Troublemaker and the youth film Stop-Zemlia, in cooperation with the Molodist International Festival.
Hamburg filmmaking & Filmfest ums Eck
FILMFEST HAMBURG shows cross-section films that were promoted, shot, produced and post-produced in Hamburg and in the North, including from the “Kaleidoscope” section among others The Grump: In Search of an Escort (production: Cuckoo Clock Entertainment), Heartbeast (Oma Inge Film), Holy Spider, Victim and War Sailor in the “Große Freiheit” section Rheingold (production: Bombero International), Human Flowers of Flesh (production: Fünferfilm) and Meinen Hass bekommt ihr nicht, in “Televisionen” the series Reeperbahn Spezialeinheit FD 65 (production: gebrüder beetz filmproduktion). A condensed and even more intensive insight into Hamburg filmmaking is offered by the section “Hamburger Filmschau”, this year with contributions by younger Hamburg filmmakers such as Pascal Schröder (The Social Experiment), Anja Gurres (Balconies), Il Kang (Kiezjargon – Leonidas) and Nicolaas Schmidt (FIRST TIME [The Time for All but Sunset – VIOLET] + CINEMOON).
With the additional programme “Filmfest ums Eck” FILMFEST HAMBURG would like to honour the committed work of the cinema operators and programme makers for the district culture. During the festival, the red carpet will be rolled out in Altona (Zeise Kinos), Bergedorf (Hansa Filmstudio), Blankenese (Blankeneser Kino), Volksdorf (Koralle Lichtspielhaus), Winterhude (Alabama Kino, Magazin Filmkunsttheater) and in Wandsbek (Cinemaxx Wandsbek). Films from the festival programme will be shown.
Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival
The Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival will present its national competition of Ukrainian short and feature films at FILMFEST HAMBURG. Festival organisers and Ukrainian directors will come to the Hanseatic city to present their films in person. The festival will open on 30 September with the film Sniper – The White Raven (director: Marian Bushan). Other feature-length films competing for the 3500 USD Scythian Deer Award are Between Us / directed by Solomiia Tomaschtschuk; Butterfly Vision / directed by Maksym Nakonechnyi, Pokut’ / directed by Andrii Kokura, Slovo House Unfinished Novel / directed by Taras Tomenko as well as Stop-Zemlia / directed by Kateryna Gornostai and Pamfir / directed by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk, which will also be screened in the FILMFEST programme. The jury includes actress Fritzi Haberlandt, Ukrainian director and screenwriter Eva Neymann and Iranian producer Farzad Pak. There will also be two short film programmes (01.10. & 03.10. both at 9 p.m. in the Alabama Kino) as well as a short film programme with last year’s Molodist-winning films (30.09., 9 p.m. Alabama Kino).
Filmfest Hamburg Industry Days
With the FILMEFEST HAMBURG INSDUSTRY DAYS from 4 to 6 October and the subsequent Explorer Conference on 7 October in cooperation with the producers’ association and the MOIN Filmförderung, FILMFEST HAMBURG offers a platform for exchange and networking. In keynotes, panels and workshops, experts, filmmakers and industry professionals will inform about the latest developments and trends. The initiative Hamburg lebt Kino discusses the compatibility of work and family and asks how work in film can be made attractive and sustainable with production budgets that are harder to plan (Hamburg lebt Kino – Filmemachen neu gedacht, 05.10.2022, 11:30 a.m., CinemaxX 3), This year’s WIFT Talk takes advantage of the strong presence of female filmmakers from the Islamic world at Filmfest Hamburg. In a moderated conversation they will give insights into their work. (WIFT – Women Filmmakers from the Islamic World, 05.10.2022, 2pm, CinemaxX 3). The German Film Academy and MOIN Film Funding invite you to a relaxed talk with actress Iris Berben at CinemaxX 3. The actress will give insights into her extraordinary career, talk about her first steps in Hamburg and about her special role in the Cannes-winning film Triangle of Sadness. (Iris Berben in conversation with Wolfgang Höbel (Der Spiegel), 06.10.2022, 2 p.m., CinemaxX 3).
FILMFEST HAMBURG is increasingly focusing on young talent. At this year’s festival, 16 film students from eight German universities will meet three female directors whose debut films were screened in the renowned parallel section at this year’s Cannes Festival. In cooperation with European Film Promotion (EFP), the festival also invites several young European filmmakers from the Future Frames programme to Hamburg to network and present their short films (Future Frames – Short Film Programme, 06.10.2022, 21:15, Studio Kino).
The FILMFEST HAMBURG INDUSTRY DAYS are supported by Studio Hamburg.
The “Explorer Conference” (07.10.2021, 13 – 19 hrs) will take place for the third time. At this industry event, organised by FILMFEST HAMBURG in partnership with the Produzentenverband e.V. and supported by MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, renowned speakers will discuss the future prospects of film production.
Prizes, juries & partners
FILMFEST HAMBURG awards a total of 110,000 euros in prize money this year, including the Hamburg Producer Award for German Cinema Productions and the Hamburg Producer Award for International Cinema Co-Productions, each endowed with 25,000 euros, donated by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Other prizes are the Hamburg Producer Award for German Television Productions, donated by the Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten (VFF), as well as the Special Prize for Serial Formats, also awarded by the VFF, worth 10,000 euros this year, The Political Film of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the MICHEL Film Prize, donated by the Hamburg Cultural Foundation and von Berlichingen & Partner Steuerberatungsgesellschaft, the Art Cinema Award, the NDR Young Talent Award and the Film Critics’ Prize. New this year is the FILMFEST HAMBURG PUBLIC AWARD, endowed with 5,000 euros and donated by the Hapag-Lloyd Foundation, which replaces the Commerzbank Audience Award.
FILMFEST HAMBURG has once again been able to recruit renowned directors, producers, actors and other cultural professionals to act as jury members and decide on the winners of the festival, including director Burhan Qurbani, actress Adina Vetter, photographer Mathias Bothor, actress, author and publisher Dayan Kodua and producer Nurhan Şekerci-Porst.
The main sponsor of FILMFEST HAMBURG is the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. New partners are maxdome and SIGNAL IDUNA. Other long-standing and loyal partners are the Deutsche Fernsehlotterie, the Hapag-Lloyd Foundation, Studio Hamburg, MOIA, the Karin and Walter Blüchert Memorial Foundation as well as NDR and ARTE.
FILMFEST HAMBURG will take place from 29 September to 8 October 2022. The programme and all events are online as of today. Ticket sales in the festival cinemas and in the Levantehaus start on 15 September at 11 a.m. Tickets can already be purchased on 14 September at the “Yellow Hour” from 6 p.m. in the Levantehaus.