Today, Filmfest Hamburg will open with the German premiere of the British comedy “Pride”in the presence of its director, Matthew Warchus. The film director rose to international fame in 1999 with his first film, “Simpatico”. The Brit has, however, had his greatest successes with his musical and theatrical productions. From 2015, he will take over as Director of the Old Vic Theatre in London. “Pride” was shown at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as the final film of the Director’s Fortnight section, and was greeted with standing ovations.
From arthouse to mainstream
Filmfest Hamburg is a festival for the audience. In ten permanent and several changing sections, it will show140 national and international feature and documentary films as world, European or German premiere. The many facets of the program range from sophisticated arthouse films to innovative mainstream cinema. Furthermore, German TV productions find their way to the big screen in the 16:9 section. To commemorate the 25-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Filmfest Hamburg will presenting a retrospective Deluxe section with films from the former German Democratic Republic. GDR Deluxe will be curated by director and Douglas-Sirk-Award winner (2011) Andreas Dresen. The section is to feature nine films. Top-notch films also incude the winner of the Golden Palm at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Winter Sleep” (Turkey), the “Party Girl” by the trio of French directors Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis (Caméra d’Or for best debut), and “White God” by Hungaria helmer Kornel Mundruczo (winner of Un Certain Regard and the prestigious Palm Dog Award). Also programmed at Filmfest Hamburg will be the Ukrainian film “The Tribe” by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy (winner of the main awards of Critics’ Week).
Laurels for Fatih Akin
Filmfest Hamburg honours artistic excellence with several awards. Since 1995, its prestigious Douglas Sirk Award has been granted to a personality who has made outstanding achievements within film culture and film industry. Previous winners include Peter Rommel (2011), Kim Ki-duk (2012), and Tilda Swindon (2013). This year, Filmfest Hamburg will be honouring film director Fatih Akin. Hamburg in 1973 to Turkish immigrants, he was awarded the Golden Bear at the Berlinale, the German Film Award and the European Film Award for his fourth film, “Head-On”. In 2005, Akin was a member of the jury at Cannes International Film Festival, where he also celebrated the world premiere of his film “The Edge of Heaven” in 2007. The film received the Best Screenplay Award.
In 2014, Filmfest Hamburg will be introducing the Hamburg Producers Award, endowed with a total of 50,000 euro. The award will be granted to German-European cinematic productions as well as to German television films.
Filmfest on tour
Also new in 2014: Filmfest Hamburg will leave the city limits and venture into the metro region. For the first time ever, selected cinemas in Boizenburg (Mecklenburg-Pomerania), Bargteheide und Heide (Schleswig-Holstein), Uelzen und Harsefeld (Lower Saxony) will roll out the red carpet to welcome the Filmfest during the festival dates and feature a five European films with German subtitles from the programme.
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