The Hamburg Film Festival ended on Saturday with the screening of the French film “Where the sun rises in Paris” by Jacques Audiard. Most of this year’s film festival awards were presented before the screening. The NDR young talent award, endowed with 5,000 euros, for feature film debuts or second directorial work went to director Blerta Basholli, who was born in what is now Kosovo in 1983, for her debut film “Hive”.
NDR young talent award for drama “Hive” – based on true events
In her film, Basholli shows a courageous woman who goes against the patriarchal structures in her Kosovar “village of widows”. The village has been so named since a massacre in 1999 because many of the women have lost their husbands and are facing poverty. Nothing is known about the fate of Fahrije’s husband (she is played by Yllka Gashi). She takes her life into her own hands to look after the children and encouraged other women. But in the arch-conservative village she encounters resistance.
The jury justified its decision that the film was “a portrait of a strong woman, framed in a sensual way”. He throws “light on a dark chapter in recent European history.” It is the clear statement of a talented filmmaker, as subtle as it is brave. At the US film festival Sundance earlier this year, “Hive”, which is based on real events, had already won several awards.
Art Cinema Award for graduation film “Where the sun rises in Paris”
The closing film of the 29th festival with a total of 110 films, “Where the sun rises in Paris” by Jacques Audiard, received the Art Cinema Award, also endowed with 5,000 euros. The jury’s statement said the French veteran director was showing “Stories of love and loneliness that play out against the backdrop of the towering residential buildings in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Four characters in their early 30s, who reflect the multicultural and multiethnic fabric of today’s big cities, fall in love and out of love in search of meaning . ” The French Celine Sciamma, who presented her film “Portrait of a Young Woman in Flames” at the Hamburg Film Festival two years ago, was involved in the script.
The Film Critics’ Prize, which has been awarded in cooperation with the Association of German Film Critics since 2018, went to the French film “Vortex” by Gaspar Noé, who tells with great sensitivity and almost documentary truthfulness about an old couple at the end of their lives, according to the Jury.
The previous evening in the Hanseatic city, the Hamburg Producer Awards were presented by the Senator for Culture Carsten Brosda (SPD). For example, the North German-produced drama “Nobody is with the calves” with Saskia Rosendahl received the 25,000 euro prize in the “German Cinema Production” category from producer Jonas Weydemann. Rosendahl was honored at the Locarno Film Festival for her role in her mid-twenties, who doesn’t know how to escape the sadness of country life. All other prices of the Hamburg Film Festival are on its web presence to find.
Positive festival balance with almost 25,000 visitors
Although only 50 percent of the space in the five festival cinemas was sold due to the hygiene measures, the film festival draws a positive balance. 24,859 visitors saw the films in the cinema. That corresponds to more than half of the number of visitors in 2019. The occupancy of the cinema halls was on average almost 90 percent. Festival director Albert Wiederspiel was pleased with the numbers.
They once again proved “how enthusiastic the Hamburg audience is about cinema, film and festivals and how we all long for live culture.” He hopes that the 2022 edition will be “a 100 percent festival with no space restrictions and no masks with even more visitors and many guests and parties”. This year 392 guests from 32 countries came. Among them Kenneth Branagh, Andrea Arnold, Mathieu Amalric, Ildikó Enyedi, Stefan Ruzowitzky, Rolf Lassgård, Saskia Rosendahl and Birgit Minichmayr.