This year the FILMFEST team will show up to 70 films in ten sections. Film screenings are planned in the six established festival cinemas: Abaton, CinemaxX Dammtor, Passage, Metropolis and Studio Kino. Due to the expected restrictions and reduced seating capacity in the cinemas, FILMFEST HAMBURG is also offering video-on-demand tickets to make full use of the capacity of the respective cinemas.
"As of this week, going to the movies is possible again in Hamburg! We are happy for all cinema enthusiasts and also for the exhibitors. This really motivates us und everyone involved to put together a small, select, somewhat different festival edition this year, with the generous help of our partners and sponsors, who continue to support us faithfully even in the current situation," says FILMFEST HAMBURG director Albert Wiederspiel. The 17. dokumentarfilmwoche hamburg (Hamburg Documentary Film Week) will also be a guest at FILMFEST HAMBURG to present a selection of its programme that had to be canceled in April. The dokumentarfilmwoche will take over Metropolis cinema on the last weekend of the festival for screenings and artist talks. "Filmfest ums Eck", introduced in 2019 to bring film screenings to the cinemas in other parts of the town and the outskirts, will be continued.
FILMFEST HAMBURG is waiving its German premiere status for film submissions for this year's edition. The competitions will also be suspended. The only exception is the Commerzbank Audience Award, worth 5,000 euros, which will be awarded to the best film of the entire festival this year. After the screenings, there will be live discussions via videochat or pre-recorded Q&As with the guests, all of which will also be available on the FILMFEST website. "We look forward to every guest who finds his way to Hamburg in autumn. Due to travel restrictionswe expect fewer filmmakers to come", says Albert Wiederspiel. "Nevertheless, we would like to give our audience as much festival feeling as possible, including the usual discussions at the end of each film. Events for the industry and the audience will also be adapted to the current situation. This also means that our talks and panels as well as the bar talks with the Filmmakers in Focus and the Cinephile Quartet will be mainly digital."
Due to the nationwide ban on major events until the end of August and the difficulty in planning, there will be no Binnenalster Film Festival this year. The open-air festival is a cooperation with the City Management and the Verein Lebendiger Jungfernstieg and was originally planned to take place from 3 to 6 September 2020 as a pre-event of this year's FILMFEST HAMBURG and the opening of the Hamburg opera season.