The 26th FILMFEST HAMBURG Awards were presented at the CinemaxX Dammtor during the evening of the closing ceremony before the closing film Loro by Paolo Sorrentino. Festival Director Albert Wiederspiel is pleased about the slight rise in visitor numbers despite the autumn holidays, and the success of the 16th MICHEL Kinder und Jugend Filmfest for children and young people.
»Once again, we were able to repeat the previous year’s excellent results with visitor numbers slightly up at 43,000. Despite, or perhaps precisely because of, the autumn holidays and public holiday, Hamburg audiences had an appetite for cinema, films from all over the world, discussions and debates,« comments Festival Director Albert Wiederspiel. The audience was particularly moved when the Douglas Sirk Award was presented to the Iranian director Jafar Panahi, whose daughter accepted the award on his behalf. »A festival moment that you maybe only get once and one that you will never forget.« Capacity at this year’s MICHEL Kinder- und Jugend Filmfest was particularly pleasing at around 70 percent. The preceding open-air Binnenalster Filmfest in cooperation with City Management Hamburg and the Lebendige Jungfernstieg e.V. Association this year recorded over 10,000 visitors across the four evenings.
The Critics’ Choice Award, which was first presented in collaboration with the Association of German Film Critics, goes to Our Struggles by Guillaume Senez.
Excerpt from the jury’s statement: »…The Belgian director Guillaume Senez emphatically, poignantly and without sentimentality tells of the daily fear of social collapse, expertly interweaving the occupational and familial battle zones. At different levels, every one of us is existentially overburdened – and yet is taken seriously in all our human contradictions, with loving accuracy. A film that takes aim right at the heart and stomach of Europe’s pressurised middle class.«
The jury also has a special mention for the Israeli film Geula by Yossi Madmony and Boaz Yehonatan Yaakov.
Jury: Frank Arnold, epd Film, Tip-magazin; Jens Büchsenmann, NDR 90.3; Karin Franzke, Hamburger Abendblatt; Holger Römers, StadtRevue, WDR; Parvin Sadigh, Zeit Online; Britta Schmeis, SPIEGEL ONLINE; Anke Sterneborg, Süddeutsche Zeitung, rbb Kulturradio
The €5,000 Art Cinema Award of the International Confederation of Art Cinemas (C.I.C.A.E.) goes to the film Woman at War by Benedikt Erlingsson (Distribution: Pandora Film Verleih).
Jury statement: »50-year-old Halla is lovingly dedicated to her choir. In secret, however, she purposely carries out attacks on the power supply to prevent the economic exploitation of her country. Her surprisingly positive, unassuming adoption application and more intense monitoring activities now force her into taking rapid and more rigorous action. We were won over by the powerful depiction of Halla, the screenplay – with its clever use of symbols – and an unconventional soundtrack, which enhances the film not just acoustically but also visually.«
Jury: Helene Christanell, Filmclub Bozen; Jörg Jacob, Provinz 80 Programmkino Kaiserslautern; Inge Mauerer-Klesel, Gloria and Gloriette cinemas, Heidelberg
The €5,000 NDR Young Talent Award for a feature film debut and/or second directorial work this year goes to the directors Andréa Bescond and Eric Métayer for their film Little Tickles.
Jury statement: »The story of a woman who processes the traumatic experience of her abuse as an 8-year-old girl in order to finally gain control over her own body won us over on all levels. Approaching a difficult topic using a particularly creative style and the emotional impact of it stayed with us, making this film, for us, a quite exceptional, major cinematic work. A powerful story with exceptional direction, which shows courage, and it manages to take us on a tragicomical journey, without it slipping into the realms of kitsch.«
Jury: Sven Halfar, author and director; Jonas Katzenstein, producer; Dr Ingrid Nümann-Seidewinkel, lawyer and former finance senator of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
The €5,000 Political Film of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Award goes to the director Alexandria Bombach for her film On Her Shoulders.
Excerpt from the jury's statement: »…Today, we want to honour a film about a young lady... who fights against oblivion, gives addresses, stands on podiums and almost reaches breaking point. Nadia Murad is 23 years old. She is an Iraki Yazidi and survived the genocide perpetrated by the so-called Islamic state on her people. She was a hostage and a sex slave. She experienced unimaginable things – and survived. She was able to flee from captivity and is today one of the most important voices able to report to the world on the fate of the Yazidis. The film by Alexandria Bombach follows Nadia Murad on her travels around the world. It shows her struggle for awareness and justice. And this film dares to do something: It concentrates not on the horror that Nadia experienced but puts into the spotlight the tired eyes of a young woman who must talk about her experiences almost every day.«
Jury: Timo Hempel, editor and member of AK Medien und Digitales, SPD Hamburg; Eva Hubert, former CEO of the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein; Christian von Brockhausen, director, journalist & video journalist
The €10,000 Sichtwechsel (“Change of Perspective”) Award, sponsored by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, goes to Philippe Faucon for his film Amin.
Excerpt from the jury's statement: »...The film narrates purely from Amin’s perspective. A temporary worker from Senegal, he works in France on private building sites, like his North-African colleagues, in order to support his family back home with the money he earns. With an unusually complex screenplay, the film tells the story of its protagonists in a simple and almost laconic way.
The perspective of the figures is not one of professing or emotionalising; rather it creates, in a relatively classic manner, a narrative whose dimension goes far beyond the very personal story of its main characters. In an age where diversity and equality continually give rise to discussion, the film creates absolute equality in its portrayal and the non-evaluation of the different worlds of Africa and Europe…«
The jury also has a special mention for the film M by Yolande Zauberman.
Jury: Ersan Mondtag, theatre director; Marie-Lou Sellem, actress; Irene von Alberti, producer
The €5,000 Commerzbank Audience Award in the »Eurovisuell« section goes to Solsidan by Felix Herngren and Måns Herngren.
The €5,000 MICHEL Film Award, awarded by the Hamburg Culture Foundation and the Ian and Barbara Karan Foundation, goes to Supa Modo by Likarion Wainaina.
Excerpt from the jury’s statement: »...Although the film is about a serious issue, it was made with a lot of warmth and feeling. The story had great characters that the actors brought to life with love and dedication. We would like to commend the film’s little star, who embodied her role with feeling and passion. This colourful mix of comedy, drama and super-hero film moved the audience and us to tears, brought a smile to our faces whilst also conveying an important message.«
On 3 October 2018, the Hamburg Producer Awards for »German Cinema Production« and »European Cinema Coproduction« were presented to the producers Jamila Wenske and Sol Bondy/One Two Films, Berlin (The most beautiful couple, directed by Sven Taddicken) and the producer Michael Eckelt/Riva Film, Hamburg (Sibel, directed by Çağla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti). The prizes of €25,000 for each category are provided by the Ministry of Culture and Media. The Hamburg Producers Award for »German Television Production«, sponsored by the Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten (VFF), goes to Heike Wiehle-Timm/Relevant Film, Hamburg (Aufbruch in die Freiheit, directed by Isabel Kleefeld). A special mention was given for the film Oh Gloria (Produced by Jens C. Susa/Provobis Gesellschaft für Film und Fernsehen; directed by Ingo Rasper).
The Iranian director Jafar Panahi was honoured on Thursday with the Douglas Sirk Award, which his daughter, Solmaz Panahi, accepted on his behalf.
The 27th FILMFEST HAMBURG will take place from 26 September to 5 October 2019.