26.9. - 5.10.2019

Anything is possible

This year’s opening film is from Iceland: Woman at War by Benedikt Erlingsson will open the 26th FILMFEST HAMBURG on 27 September 2018 in the presence of the director and leading actress Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir. Further highlights of the programme are The Favourite by Yorgos Lanthimos and What doesn’t kill us by Sandra Nettelbeck.

Woman at War
, actor and director Benedikt Erlingsson’s (Of Horses and Men) latest film, is as visually stunning and poetic as it is amusing and politically acute – a portrait of an affectionate and independent Icelandic woman. Hella (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) runs a choir in her hometown and secretly fights the local aluminium industry as a tough environmental activist. Her life changes abruptly when her application for adopting a Ukrainian child is finally granted.

Festival director Albert Wiederspiel: »Power to the People! I have been a fan of Iceland and its people for years. A strong Icelandic woman fighting for a better world and conquering the hearts of the audience – what better opening film could there be in this city so firmly facing north.«

Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) was shown in Cannes at the »Semaine de la Critique« and impressed film critics and audience alike. After its German premiere in Hamburg (section »Kaleidoskop«), the film will be released by PANDORA FILM Verleih on 13 December 2018. A high-resolution film still can be found here.

After The Lobster (2016) and The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017), The Favourite is Yorgos Lanthimos’s latest film to be shown at FILMFEST HAMBURG. In his historical drama, the Greek director weaves a dense web of intrigue, envy and betrayal at the royal court of 18th century England: Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), wasting away, sits on the throne, but the real regent is her close friend and court lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz). As the political conflicts take up more and more of Sarah’s time, the new lady-in-waiting Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) takes her place next to the queen. The way is now clear for Abigail to achieve her ambitious goals – and the power structure begins to shift. The Favourite will have its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival (29 August to 8 September 2018) and is running in the section »Kaleidoskop« at FILMFEST HAMBURG. German release is expected on 3 January 2019 (Twentieth Century Fox).

In What doesn’t kill us (Was uns nicht umbringt), director and screenwriter Sandra Nettelbeck revives the therapist from her hit film Bella Martha with his cosmos of neurotic patients, family issues and amorous entanglements. What doesn’t kill us focusses on existential crises and heartfelt desires in the middle years of life with a melancholic cheerfulness. August Zirner, Johanna ter Steege and Barbara Auer brilliantly play the leading roles. What doesn’t kill us, partly shot in Hamburg and funded by Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, premiered at Locarno Festival and will be shown in Hamburg in the new section »Große Freiheit«. The film’s producers, Jochen Laube and Fabian Maubach of Sommerhaus Filmproduktion, have been nominated for the 25,000 Euro Hamburger Produzentenpreis Deutsche Kinoproduktion der Behörde für Kultur und Medien der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg. What doesn’t kill us, distributed by Alamode, will be released on 15 November 2018 in German cinemas.


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