30.09. - 09.10.2021

First films

Self-awareness, brotherly love, hope, responsibility, decisions, passion, metadata, angels and art: FILMFEST HAMBURG presents the first ten films of this year’s programme, including Cannes winner The Square by Ruben Östlund.


Following his family drama Force Majeure, which was screened at the 2014 FILMFEST HAMBURG, Swedish director Ruben Östlund retires to the dazzling world of contemporary art in The Square, opening its Pandora’s Box of morality. With its multi-layered, sarcastic and incisive sense of humour, The Square poses highly charged questions about contemporary conceptions of the self and society. The Square, which was awarded the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, was produced with German involvement and will be shown as part of the Freihafen section of the festival, the showcase for German-European co-productions.

Another Cannes film in this series is the Hungarian-German co-production Jupiter’s Moon, directed by Kornél Mundruczó, which tells the story of a refugee in Hungary who has supernatural abilities. Mundruczó, a director of both films and theatrical productions, was a guest at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg earlier this year with an adaptation of Gerhart Hauptmann’s The Weavers. His film Underdog was shown at the FILMFEST HAMBURG in 2014.

In her feature-film debut Montparnasse Bienvenüe, Léonor Serraille follows a young woman whose walk through Paris becomes an unsettling journey to find herself. The film, which was awarded the Caméra d’Or for Best Debut Film, will be screened in Hamburg as part of the French-language section Voilà!.

With the film L’amant double, French director and winner of the 2004 Douglas Sirk Award François Ozon returns to Hamburg to present a psychothriller that is equal parts exciting and libidinous – the story of a young woman caught between twin brothers. In Hamburg, the Cannes entry will also be screened as part of the Voilà! section.

Santiago Mitra’s The Student was screened in FILMFEST HAMBURG’s 2011 programme. In his newest film The Summit, the president of Argentina, attending a political summit, is confronted not only with political decisions but also with problems of a personal nature. FILMFEST HAMBURG will present this gripping political thriller from Latin America – which was shown at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard series – as part of the Spanish- and Portuguese-language series Vitrina.

In the film The Florida Project, director Sean Baker sheds light on people living on the margins of society from a very particular perspective: through the eyes of six-year-old Mooney. Following its world premiere at Cannes (Directors‘ Fortnight), The Florida Projectcan be seen as part of the Transatlantic series, the showcase for North American cinema.

After its successful world premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival, Markus Goller’s Simpel returns for a home fixture. The story of a special relationship between brothers was primarily shot in Hamburg and Northern Germany. Simpel will be celebrating its German premiere at FILMFEST HAMBURG in the Kaleidoscope section alongside films from all around the world. During the festival, Simpel will also be screened at selected cinemas in the greater Hamburg metropolitan area as part of the City, Country, Filmfest event series, a joint project with Hamburg Marketing.

Another entry in the Kaleidoscope section is Ofir Raul Graizer’s feature-length debut The Cakemaker. It tells the story of a German pastry chef who travels to Israel after the death of his Israeli lover Oran, where he increasingly gains the trust of the latter’s widow and son. The Cakemaker was awarded the Ecumenical Jury’s Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Two films have already been chosen for the Hamburger Filmschau:

Student Academy Award winner Ilker Çatak is celebrating the world premiere of his feature-length debut Es war einmal Indianerland in Hamburg. The adaptation of Nils Mohl’s novel of the same name is a film about boxing, a road-trip movie, a Western and a music video – all in front of a stunning Hamburg backdrop.

In their documentary Pre-Crime, Hamburg-based documentary filmmakers Matthias Heeder and Monika Hielscher turn their attention to data-analysis software designed to combat crime, which is in use in more places than just the United States. Through painstaking research that yields alarming results, the filmmakers question where protecting the general public ends and Big Data begins.

The full programme for the Filmfest will be published on 21 September 2017.

The 2017 FILMFEST HAMBURG will take place from 5 to 14 October. More than 120 productions from all around the globe will be shown in their European, German or Hamburg premieres in the sections Free Port (European co-productions), Hamburger Filmschau (current cinema from Hamburg), Transatlantic (English-language cinema from the United States and Canada), Veto! (political films), Voilà! (French-language cinema), Vitrina (Spanish- and Portuguese-language cinema), Asia Express (cinematic culture from Asia), Eurovisuell (European audience favourites), 16:9 (television on the big screen) and Kaleidoscope (films from around the world). Participating movie theatres include Abaton, CinemaxX Dammtor, Metropolis, Passage and Studio-Kino.


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