Films galore at Hamburg
by Bénédicte Prot
The nine participating theatres will show a total of 142 films from 42 countries. Organisers have decided to extend the event by two days, until October 3. According to festival director Albert Wiederspiel, this decision goes against the trend for downsizing but gives audiences an additional weekend to discover even more films.
The main section, Agenda 09, includes 67 titles from 29 countries (some by major names, others by young talents) reflecting the current state of the world and cinema, the two being intimately linked. Among them are Icelandic director Óskar Jónasson’s Reykjavik-Rotterdam [trailer], starring Baltasar Kormákur; Gabriele Salvatores’ As God Commands [trailer] (based on Niccoló Ammaniti’s book); Here And There [trailer] by Serbia’s Darko Lungulov (see interview); Cannes title Police, Adjective [trailer, film focus] by Romania’s Corneliu Porumboiu; and Jacek Blawut’s Polish film Before Twilight [trailer], which centres on some former actors grown old.
The line-up also includes Danish director Martin Pieter Zandvliet’s Applause [trailer, film focus], whose protagonist is also an actress, played by Paprika Steen, who will attend the screening; Ignas Miškinis’ German/Lithuanian co-production Low Lights [trailer]; and Alex van Warmerdam’s Dutch/Belgian co-production The Last Days of Emma Blank, another Venice prize-winner.
The Eurovisuell section will present seven European blockbusters, from among which the audience will pick its favourite. On the line-up are Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [trailer, film focus]; Norwegian hit Max Manus [trailer] by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (guests at Hamburg); Nils Malmros’ Danish film Aching Hearts; Gergely Fonyó’s Made in Hungaria; and Aleksi Mäkelä’s gangster film Hellsinki [trailer], which enjoyed box office success in Finland.
The festival is also hosting "Northern Lights", devoted to productions from the Hamburg region (including, for example, the Chinese/European co-production She, a Chinese [trailer], winner of the Golden Leopard at this year’s Locarno festival); a short films section; and a special New Zealand cinema sidebar.
Finally, the independent Michel Festival (September 25-October 3), which focuses on young people’s films, is celebrating its seventh edition with nine features and educational activities.
(Translated from French)