The 25th Filmfest Hamburg began Thursday (October 5-17, 2017) with 131 movies from 59 countries to be screened in five cinemas across the city. Movies by famous directors and young upcoming talents are on offer this year.
Ten awards including the coveted Douglas Sirk Prize, which goes to director, photographer and author Wim Wenders for his outstanding contribution to film culture and the movie industry, will be handed out this year. Former winners include Clint Eastwood (1995), Stephen Frears (1996) and Catherine Deneuve (2015) among others.
This year’s screenings opened with “Lucky” by U.S. director John Caroll Lynch and starring Harry Dean Stanton in his last role. The veteran American actor died in September 2017 aged 91. He had previously starred in Wenders’ 1984 movie “Paris Texas”.
In his welcoming speech Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg said: “Over 25 years, the Filmfest Hamburg has extended its position as a fixed cinema point in the north persistently and cleverly. Every year, it presents the wealth of world cinema in the Hanse city and promising, lesser-known directors at the same time. The festival is highly committed to screening films important to the art of cinema and social understanding. It is close to contemporary issues and in 2017 deals in particular with the consequences of globalisation.“
This year, many films will focus on socially important issues under the themes of “work” or “home”. Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media, said: “In the past 25 years, the Filmfest Hamburg has become an important festival for feature and documentary films. The festival is honouring one of the great directors, Wim Wenders, this year.”
Apart from the Douglas Sirk Prize, other awards worth EUR 100, 000 will be handed out including the fourth Hamburg Producers’ Prize worth EUR 50,000 for achievements by German film and TV producers.
40,000 movie fans annually
The Filmfest Hamburg has presented national, international feature and documentary films as premieres; European premieres or German premieres since 1992. Every year, the festival attracts over 40,000 movie fans. Albert Wiederspiel has been the Festival Director since 2013.