After many months of abstinence from cinema, the 28th edition of FILMFEST HAMBURG presents Mads Mikkelsen as an intoxicated school teacher, Frances McDormand in the American West, the directorial debut of Moritz Bleibtreu and stories of resistance and astronauts. In addition to films from the Cannes, Venice and Berlin film festivals, lesser-known debuts will also find their way to the Hanseatic city to satisfy the longing for a shared cinematic experience. In addition, the films will also be screened on the complementary digital service STREAMFEST HAMBURG this year to enable all viewers to attend.
This year's closing film Nomadland brings together two former FILMFEST guests in the section Transatlantik. In 2017, The Rider and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri were screened at the festival, the previous works of director Chloé Zhao and leading actress Frances McDormand, who are now working together for the first time. Nomadland tells the story of a woman who loses everything as a result of the 2007 economic crisis and from then on rootlessly roams the American West. "Two great artists have created an elegiac portrait of the American soul in crisis," says Festival Director Albert Wiederspiel.
After this year's edition of the Cannes Film Festival had to be cancelled, the festival nevertheless presented a selection of films under the Cannes label, some of which will also be screened at FILMFEST HAMBURG. In addition to the opening film Enfant Terrible, several Cannes films will be screened in the French-language section Voilà, such as the debut film by Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh: Gagarine is not only the name of the famous Soviet cosmonaut, but also that of a residential building named after him, which was built in a Parisian suburb in the 1960s. Now it is about to be demolished and Youri, a young resident of Gagarine dreaming of becoming an astronaut, decides to save the ailing giant.
The section Kaleidoskop once again offers a wide-ranging view into all corners of world cinema, among them Denmark and Iran. In Thomas Vinterberg's new film Another Round, Mads Mikkelsen plays a teacher who enters into a risky social experiment with three colleagues: they want to investigate how their behaviour changes under permanent consumption of alcohol. After initially feeling more confident in dealing with everyday tasks, things gradually turn into chaos.
Mahnaz Mohammadi, a women's rights activist and film maker who has been repeatedly condemned by the Iranian regime, directed her first feature film with Son-Mother. The drama deals with the strict rules of Iranian society from the perspective of a widow and her son. Simultaneously, the film, written by Mohammad Rasoulof, impressively illustrates the situation in the country, which has been severely affected by economic sanctions.
As in previous years, Asia Express will be taking FILMFEST viewers to the Asian continent. The Cloud in Her Room by Chinese director Zheng Lu Xinyuan follows its young protagonist on the melancholic paths through her hometown and her past during the Chinese New Year celebrations. The debut film, shot in black and white, was awarded the main prize at this year's Rotterdam Film Festival.
Actor Moritz Bleibtreu makes his directorial debut with Cortex: Hagen (Bleibtreu) is suffering from phases in his sleep in which he can no longer tell the difference between dream and reality. The ailing relationship with his wife Karoline (Nadja Uhl) is also increasingly affected. Her affair with small-time crook Niko (Jannis Niewöhner) sets off a chain of events which will drastically change the lives of both men. The film is shown in the section for German-language cinema, Große Freiheit.
In addition to the previously announced focus on filmmaker Pablo Larraín, the Vitrina section, which presents films from the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America, will also feature the German premiere of Tragic Jungle by Mexican director Yulene Olaizola. The film is premiering in the Orizzonti section of this year's Venice Film Festival and takes the audience into the rainforest on the border between Mexico and Belize, where mysterious events unfold.
This year's programme also includes a number of films from the Berlin Film Festival, all of which will be shown for the first time in the Hanseatic city during FILMFEST HAMBURG. The already announced First Cow by Kelly Reichardt will be screened as part of the format "Contemporary Cinema in Focus" in the Transatlantik section. The Nigerian film This is My Desire by Arie and Chuko Esiri, Viktor Kossakovsky's animal portrait Gunda and the Golden Bear winner There is No Evil by Mohammad Rasoulof, with whom FILMFEST HAMBURG has been closely associated for years, will be screened in the Kaleidoskop section. In the section Große Freiheit, Johannes Naber's political satire Curveball – A true story. Unfortunately. will be shown, while Alexander Kluge and Filipino director Khavn are guests in the section Asia Express with their second collaboration Orphea.
The films at a glance:
Distributor: Weltkino Filmverleih
Release date: 28 January 2021
The Cloud in Her Room
Zheng Lu Xinyuan
People's Republic of China, Hong Kong 2020
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date: 22 October 2020
Curveball – A true story. Unfortunately.
Distributor: Filmwelt Verleihagentur
Release date: 19 November 2020
There is No Evil
Iran, Germany, Czech Republic 2020
Release Date: Fall 2020
Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh
USA, Norway 2020
Distributor: Filmwelt Verleihagentur
Release Date: February 2021
Distributor: The Walt Disney Company
Alexander Kluge, Khavn
Distributor: Rapid Eye Movies
This is My Desire
Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri
Mexico, France, Colombia 2020