This year the Filmfest Hamburg celebrated a new high in participation: 50,000 attendees. Perhaps some of the praise goes to the active pre-festival public relations that started on September 17, the day that tickets sales began.
Two weeks before opening night, the festival organizers worked with sponsors: Alsterhaus department store, Europe Passage shopping center, and Hapag-Lloyd and City Management, to show four films, open-air at the Alster Lake. All films were related to music in some way. Showings were free; there was room for 1300 people. On September 17 they started with a French oldie from 1964, starring Catherine Deneuve: Les Parapluies de Cherbourg . On September 18 was a German film from2005: Keine Lieder über Liebe. September 20 ended with the Rocky Horror Picture Show (Great Britain 1975). But the best idea was on September 19: a live showing of the opera Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz, directly from the Hamburg Opera House – a first in Hamburg. After the performance ended in the opera house, the whole opera company, led by music director Kent Nagano, walked over to the Alster Lake to take another bow before those who had persevered watching it outside until almost midnight.
On Sunday, September 27, stores were open for afternoon shopping, something which occurs quarterly in Hamburg. Among other attractions for Sunday shoppers, there were music groups playing film music in six different downtown locations; professional film make-up was applied by professional cosmeticians upon request in Gänsemarkt Passage and there was a Marilyn Monroe imitator in Hamburger Hof.