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The Inside View of Hosting a Festival
by Shelly Schoeneshoefer

One of the people I had the opportunity to meet was Andrea Kuhn, director of the Human Rights Film Festival in Nuremberg. The festival runs September 27- October 4 which pretty much is on a collision course with Hamburg’s Film Festival and Leipzig’s Documentary Film Festival. She indicated that has advantages and disadvantages. Since her festival is a smaller festival and does not do premieres, they have the chance to piggyback on the other festivals. This basically means if one of the major films from Cannes will be showing in Hamburg, then they have the chance to show it afterwards and share the costs. They can also share the costs of the guests who are coming with them. She said that they are very good to their guests. They are allowed to stay three days and, if they are coming from far away, they are allowed to stay the entire length of the festival. The bigger festivals are not as generous due to the amount of films directors have to accommodate. The festival also sometimes can get some money from the embassies for the guests as well.

They also have second shots after a premiere films, so they can afford the cost of the films. It can also work against them. For example, if Hamburg’s festival gets a film and then Leipzig wants the film, then Nuremberg loses out to them since it is a smaller festival. The festival shows around 60 films of any genre and can be any length. The films have to be cinematic and not TV reportage in style. They have four screens and one hotel, which is filled with all the guests. The social aspect is important. So, naturally, I asked, besides looking for films, what else are they doing here? She answered that she networks, meets directors, producers and salesmen. She has the chance to look at catalogs and see screeners which costs money. She is hoping to find at least 20 films here which would save her a lot of work. She tries to share the costs with other festival directors to save money. So far she hasn’t found one. She’s not worried since she has the whole year. She left us with a smile as she went in search of more films.