Eight feature-length TV movies are competing this year for the Hamburg Producer Award “German Television Productions” and are dedicated to current topics such as right-wing violence, climate protection and the dangers of social networks. The award, endowed with 25,000 euros, is sponsored by the VFF Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten mbH. Five serial formats are nominated for the VFF’s special prize, newly introduced in 2021 and endowed with 10,000 euros. As a special screening and out of competition, the historical drama Martha Liebermann – Ein gestohlenes Leben (Martha Liebermann – A Stolen Life), which won an award at this year’s television festival in Monte-Carlo, will be shown, among others.
“The TV section this year not only features exciting TV films, it has also gained a significant increase in ambitious series. Both sections deal with themes such as social and personal development, which enhances the programme in terms of both form and content,” says Friedemann Beyer, Head of the Television Section.
Competition Television Films
In Die Bürgermeisterin, played by Anna Schudt, a courageous local politician is targeted by right-wing circles. In this drama produced by Silke Pützer and Wolfgang Cimera (Network Movie Köln for ZDF), Christiane Balthasar tells of the challenges of an everyday political life marked by increasing polarisation.
Eight-year-old Nina was assigned the male gender at birth, but she feels like a girl and wants to be perceived as such from now on. A decision that forces the entire family to rethink. Einfach Nina, directed by Karin Heberlein, was produced by Marcos Kantis and Martin Lehwald (Zhivago Film for ARD Degeto). Starring Friederike Becht, Ulrich Brandhoff, Michael Wittenborn and Arian Wegener.
In 1967, the world’s first human heart transplant was performed in South Africa. Inspired by this true event, Sonja Gerhardt plays a doctor who works in Cape Town together with the black surgeon Hamilton Naki (Loyiso MacDonald) – but only secretly – in the team of Christiaan Barnard (Alexander Scheer). Franziska Buch directs Das Wunder von Kapstadt, produced by Christian Popp (Producers at Work Film for ARD Degeto), as a historical event drama.
A young inspector (Franziska Hartmann) is confronted with her own traumas in her first criminal case. Was wir verbergen directed by Francis Meletzky from a screenplay by Elke Rössler was produced by Jutta Lieck-Klenke and Lydia-Maria Emrich (Network Movie Hamburg for ZDF).
School graduation only if the family lives sustainably from now on: In Klima retten für Anfänger, produced by Christiane Ruff and Imre von der Heydt (ITV Studios Germany for ARD Degeto), a 17-year-old climate activist (Ella Lee) deals with her parents (Tanja Wedhorn, Götz Schubert) to achieve climate goals on a small scale.
After reporting her husband for assault and sexual violence, a woman seeks assistance from a lawyer specialising in sexual offences (Natalia Wörner). Lars Becker directs Die Macht der Frauen, produced by Jutta Lieck-Klenke and Dietrich Kluge (Network Movie Hamburg for ZDF) as an oppressive chamber play.
Instead of helping, onlookers film the death of a girl in an accident and post the mobile phone films on the internet. The mother of the dead girl wants to sue. Und ihr schaut zu, directed by Michaela Kezele, is based on real events and was produced by Anja Föringer (Hager Moss Film for SWR/ARD).
In Wo ist meine Schwester? director Markus Imboden deals with the disappearance of relatives. After a birthday party with friends, a young woman goes missing. Inspector Ingo Tiehl and his team investigate. The thrilling crime drama starring Heino Ferch, Kristin Suckow, Max Hubacher and Martina Gedeck was produced by Nils Dünker (Lailaps Films for ZDF).
Out of competition, FILMFEST HAMBURG will show Borowski und das hungrige Herz, produced by Kerstin Ramcke and Sabine Timmermann (Nordfilm for NDR/ARD), a new TATORT episode from the North and Lars Becker’s Nachtschicht – Die Ruhe vor dem Sturm, a new episode of the popular cult series. The producers are Wolfgang Cimera and Bettina Wente (Network Movie Cologne for ZDF).
As a special screening at Hapag Lloyd, the historical drama Martha Liebermann – A Stolen Life with Thekla Carola Wied is on the programme. The actress was honoured with the Actor’s Award at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Another Golden Nymph was awarded in the category “Best TV Movie”. The award-winning biopic about the fate of the widow of the famous painter Max Liebermann was produced by Regina Ziegler (Ziegler Film and MIA Film for ARD Degeto).
Competition Serial Formats
Clara’s father, a well-known singer, is said to have sexually assaulted her best friend. In 37 Sekunden, produced by Britta Meyermann (Odeon Fiction for ARD Degeto), Bettina Oberli explores the inner conflict of the committed lawyer and her search for the truth. Starring, among others, Emily Cox, Paula Kober, Jens Albinus and Marie-Lou Sellem.
In Ein Schritt zum Abgrund, doctor Jana Hansen (Petra Schmidt-Schaller), is obsessed with the fact that her husband (Florian Stetter) is having an affair. She gets to the bottom of it and falls into a whirlpool of mistrust and fear that drives her further and further away from herself. Christiane Ruff and Peter Fröhlich (ITV Studios Germany) and Joke Kromschröder (Talpa Germany Fiction) produce the German remake of the BBC series Doctor Foster for ARD Degeto, directed by Alexander Dierbach.
25-year-old Lamia lives with her Algerian and very engaging family in Berlin and dreams of her own four walls and her own place. Süheyla Schwenk directs Lamia, produced by Martin Danisch and David Hadda (Turbokultur for ARD Degeto) as a turbulent family story between two cultures.
Inspired by a true crime case, the true-crime series Gefesselt, produced by Dietmar Güntsche (Neue Bioskop Television for Amazon Prime) follows the story of one of Germany’s most notorious serial killers, the so-called “acid barrel killer”. In Hamburg in the 1980s and 1990s, Raik Doormann kidnapped, tortured and killed several women. A young inspector gets on the trail of the murderer. Oliver Masucci, Angelina Häntsch and Sylvester Groth, among others, play the leading roles.
The high-end true crime docu-series Reeperbahn Unit 65, produced by Christian Beetz and Florian Fettweis (gebrueder beetz filmproduktion for ARD), tells the story of Germany’s first police unit to fight organised crime – Hamburg’s Unit 65 – and their fight against rival gangs of hoodlums, Hells Angels and the US Mafia. From the perspective of investigators who were among the first female police officers and detective superintendents in Germany, the series uses unpublished archive material and scenic elements to tell the story of the turn of the times on St. Pauli in the 1980s.
The section “Televisions” is presented by the Deutsche Fernsehlotterie.