Right from the start this year’s Filmfest seemed to me to be super organised. The newly designed catalogue slipped neatly into my handbag and set the standard for everything that followed.
Spreading the Filmfest over two weekends meant there was a greater opportunity to see more movies. Having the accreditation open longer on the first day meant there wasn’t a rush to pick up my card.
The nice press ticket man told me that friends will be able to collect the day’s tickets as long as they show my pass at the next Filmfest, which will save lots of precious time. He, like everybody else, spoke English for which I am both grateful and ashamed of after so many years of living in Hamburg.
Everybody in the various cinemas was helpful too. The usher at Metropolis went out of her way to put a reserved sign on the seat for me between the two movies I was watching. Which cinema, what time, no problem. Everybody was informed, pleasant and organised. My lost card was retrieved and returned to the accreditation office in a flash. And finally the movies, which this year seem to be the best ever, have provided some gems which will be long remembered.
Who could forget the moment when hapless Jorge in A Useful Life takes a long last look at his battered old briefcase, decides to leave it and his old life behind, squares his shoulders and goes after his girl? Or the moment when Hind Husseini in Miral comes upon the innocent victims of what now appears to be a war without end and without a moment’s hesitation devotes her life to helping them?
Who could forget the play of light on the characters’ faces and the feeling of optimism which shined through their problems in Turquaze? A feeling of optimism shines through in The Lips and December, as ordinary people reach out to help others.
Most of all, who could forget the mastery of the film makers, who are able to capture the beauty of the ballet in Mao’s Last Dancer and the magic of opera in Juan? This year’s Filmfest will be hard to beat.
18th Filmfest Hamburg
240 film presentations
Ten screens in six cinemas
51 countries were represented
27 films in English
65 films with English sub-titles
40,000 tickets sold
10% more tickets sold
See you next year: September 29 – October 8, 2011