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FESTIVALS Germany

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Eight awards and a closing-night film at the Filmfest Hamburg

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- The 22nd edition of the German event presented an array of political films

Eight awards and a closing-night film at the Filmfest Hamburg
© Michael Kottmeier

The awards show and the closing-night film, Timbuktu [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Abderrahmane Sissako, marked the end of the 22nd edition of the Filmfest Hamburg, which presented about 110 feature-length films that reflect the multi-faceted nature of world cinema. Many movies showed the difficult conditions and circumstances that human beings must endure in different parts of the globe.

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The CICAE Art Cinema Award, which was given out by a jury of European arthouse exhibitors, went to the Israeli divorce drama Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. The Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein is supporting the theatrical distribution of the film in Germany to the tune of €5,000. A divorced couple also constitute the main characters in the Swedish comedy Hallåhallå [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Maria Blom, which won the Audience Award, worth €5,000.

The drama Hope [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Boris Lojkine
film profile
]
by Boris Lojkine, about the hardships suffered by two refugees, won the Hamburg Critics’ Award, while Children 404 by Askold Kurov and Pavel Loparev received the Political Film Award, which comes with €5,000. Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy, a very refreshing experimental film from Thailand, by director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, snagged the NDR Newcomer Award, and Danish filmmaker Martin Miehe-Renard won the Michel Award (worth €5,000) in the children’s section for The Contest [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a film that makes a strong statement about discrimination against foreign people.

The Best European Co-production Award, which comes with €25,000, went to the comedy film-within-a-film Welcome to Karastan [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Ben Hopkins, which was produced by Daniel Zuta and Vladimer Katcharava. German producer Zuta, who had initially been a minority partner, became the main producer of the comedy over the course of the production.

Another highlight in the line-up was The Cut [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fatih Akin
interview: Tahar Rahim
film profile
]
by Hamburg-based filmmaker Fatih Akin, who received the Douglas Sirk Award. “Despite the sunny weather, the local audiences really appreciated our programme,” concluded festival director Albert Wiederspiel. “A lot of our screenings were sold out.”

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