Filmfest in Hamburg: Here's the programme!

The 2016 world cinema unites in one festival: This year’s winners at the international festivals in Venice, Locarno and Cannes will be there

Over 11 days, the 24th FILMFEST HAMBURG will show a total of 165 films from 53 countries; 320 filmmakers, actors and producers will travel to Hamburg to present their films to audiences.

Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces (Foto: Pyramide International)

Just 24 films on this year’s programme already have german distributors; one particular exclusive aspect of FILMFEST HAMBURG is evidenced by the high number of debut films and sophomore pictures. This makes the festival a stage for audiences and the industry to make discoveries.

Alongside many next-generation directors, FILMFEST HAMBURG will present a host of productions from filmmakers who have already been honoured with awards. The main winners of the festivals in Venice and Locarno – The Woman Who Left by Lav Diaz and Godless by Ralitza Petrova – will also be screened in Hamburg.

Lav Diaz is the first Filipino director to receive the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. His black-and-white magnum opus, which is nearly four hours long, tells the story of an innocent woman who spent 30 years in prison for murder. A female protagonist is also the focus of Bulgarian director Ralitza Petrova’s ruthless drama Godless, which is set in a retirement home; the film won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. Leading actor Irena Ivanova received an additional Leopard for her performance.

Four Cannes award winners will also be shown at FILMFEST HAMBURG. In addition to It’s Only the End of the World, the new film from Xavier Dolan and this year’s Grand Prix winner, Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation and Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper are also on the programme. Both filmmakers were equally honoured for Best Direction. Viewers can also look forward to the most recent work from the British director Andrea Arnold; her road-trip movie American Honey received the Jury Prize in Cannes.

More highlights from the festival’s programme:

With four productions, Egypt is relatively well represented. The country on the Nile grew significantly quieter as a filmmaking land following past political upheavals. Now the country is returning in full force with films such as the brilliant social comedy Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces by Yousry Nasrallah.

Quebec’s bustling, prolific film scene has traditionally played a big role at FILMFEST HAMBURG. The Francophone province in eastern Canada has a total of seven productions in the programme. Iqualit (directed by Benoît Pilon) and Two Lovers and a Bear (directed by Kim Nguyen) will tempt audiences up to the far north. The former tells the story of the cosmos of an Inuit community marked by hopelessness, the latter of love in the ice.

Iqualit and Two Lovers and a Bear are part of a whole series of “polar films” in this year’s programme. The French culture-clash comedy The Journey to Greenland (directed by Sebastien Betbeder) follows two city slickers in northern Greenland, while the Swedish drama Sámi Blood (directed by Amanda Kernell) concerns a Sámi girl caught in the wheels of a state “cultivation programme” in Sweden in the 1930s. The French romantic comedy The Together Project – the final film by director Solveig Anspach – is an extremely charming homage to Icelandic bathing culture.

The documentary Weiner witnesses the unique self-implosion of American politician Anthony Weiner. The onetime beacon of hope for the Democratic Party first tripped up in a 2011 sexting affair. As seen in the film, he launched a comeback attempt in 2013 – until new racy pictures emerged. At the time, his wife Huma Abedin (a close associate of Hillary Clinton) stood by her man, but she recently left him after a new photo scandal. Weiner will be screened as part of the Veto! Section, which was created last year along with the Transatlantik and Hamburger Filmschau sections; all three have established themselves as important pillars of the festival’s programme.

You can find the complete programme of the 24th FILMFEST HAMBURG here

 The 24th FILMFEST HAMBURG will take place from 29 September to 8 October 2016 at the following venues:


The MICHEL Children’s and Youth Film Festival invites its guests to the Abaton-Kino from 30 September to 8 October 2016.