HAPPINESS SUCKS will open the 52nd Hof International Film Festival.

The 52nd Hof International Film Festival will kick off on 23 October 2018 with the Walker + Worm production HAPPINESS SUCKS by Anca Miruna Lăzărescu. With great sensitivity, the director has succeeded in telling the story of two sisters who master their own fates. A film which will make you laugh and cry.

Stefan Gabriel is a lifeguard, a dedicated father and always makes an effort to think positively in life. While he’s trying to give something back to society and is active as a companion for the terminally ill, his two daughters, the 12-year-old Jessica and 15-year-old Sabrina, are having to deal with their own problems. Jessica is often mistaken for a boy and struggles with all of her little quirks. She would love to change places with her pretty sister Sabrina, who, despite her illness, seems to have a handle on life. The more Sabrina’s health worsens, the worse Jessica’s quirks become. They need a plan – and fast. In an old book, they come stumble upon a special ritual which they think will be their salvation. But they need to find a boy who is willing to sleep with Sabrina. They don’t have much time and Jessica does everything in her powers to set the life-saving plan in motion, no matter how crazy it seems.

With Martin Wuttke as the father and Ella Frey and Emilia Bernsdorf as his daughters, the film is wonderfully casted. Christian Friedel, Tina Ruland, Stefan Grossmann and Sophie Rois can be seen in further roles.

“Anca Miruna Lăzărescu plots a family story with all of its ups and downs as a hymn to life. HAPPINESS SUCKS is a wonderfully emotional film.” Thorsten Schaumann, artistic director of the Hof International Film Festival

HAPPINESS SUCKS is the second feature film of the German-Romanian director and graduate of the University of Television and Film Munich Anca Miruna Lăzărescu after her highly-acclaimed first feature THAT TRIP WITH DAD (2016) and the award-winning short SILENT RIVER (2011). The film is a Walker + Worm production (producers: Tobias Walker and Philipp Worm) in co-production with ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel and was supported by FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Nordmedia, the German Federal Film Fund and the Kuratorium junger deutscher Film. The screenplay was written by Silvia Wolken (VACUUM), with Christian Stangassinger behind the camera. Concorde Filmverleih will release the film in Germany in 2019.

The last Rendezvous of the HoF edition 2017 will take place on Sunday, 23 September 2018 at 12:30 pm. And that is pretty much exactly one month before to the kick-off of the 2018 Hof International Film Festival! So we are, so to say, BETWEEN SUMMER AND AUTUMN, which is the title of Daniel Manns’ debut feature, which he produced completely independently and without any film funding.

17-year-old Lena is the center of it all. She’s just finished school and still lives at home with her father and her older brother, Jonas, but she’s planning a long trip to Argentina. With her head full of plans, she meets Jonas’ new girlfriend one night in the kitchen. Eva is 24 and studies Social Education because she couldn’t think of anything else. An unusual intimacy arises between the two, an intimacy which turns Lena’s world upside down.

Daniel Manns portrays the challenges of a young generation at close range and with great realism. After the screening, we’ll speak to the director personally:

What? ZWISCHEN SOMMER UND HERBST with director Daniel Mann in attendance
When? Sunday, 23 September 2018 at 12:30 pm
Where? Central Cinema Hof, Altstadt 8
How much? 5 euros per ticket

Many thanks to Stefan Schmalfuß and Jessica Popp and their whole team at the Central Cinema for their continuous support. We also thank the distributor Salzgeber for allowing the screening to take place.

At the same place where the first screening of DER MOTIVATIONSTRAINER took place is also where the probably last cinema screening of the documentary about Jürgen Holler was held. On September 4th at 11:45 pm, the film will be broadcast on ARD. For Julian Amershi, one of the two directors in addition to Martin Rieck, it was (almost) as exciting as the world premiere at last year’s Hof International Film Festival. In the Central Kino in downtown Hof there were once again heated discussions – DER MOTIVATIONTRAINER shows that cinema lives on!

“We are very thankful to Hof for a lot of things: the attention the festival gave to our film opened a lot of doors. And even months after the premiere, Hof still continues to support its films and makes sure that one really feels taken care of as a filmmaker here.” Julian Amershi and Martin Rieck

HoF Festival Rendezvous – Catch up on films you missed or rediscover films! We’ll continue again soon …

Hof Gold Prize of the Friedrich Baur Foundation

The Friedrich Baur Prize will be awarded within the framework of the Hof International Film Festival to a filmmaker for a debut feature film as the “Hof Gold Prize of the Friedrich Baur Foundation Awarded by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Memory of Heinz Badewitz”. Candidates are directors of debut films produced in Germany which have been officially selected for participation at the respective annual Hof International Film Festival.

The Friedrich Baur Foundation had already supported the Heinz Badewitz Award in the past two years and is now concentrating the prize money as of the 52nd Hof International Film Festival (23-28 October 2018) with the Hof Gold Prize.

Hofer Goldpreis der Friedrich-Baur-Stiftung

The award consists of a certified bar of gold weighing in at one kilogram of pure gold (current market value approximately 35,000 euros) packaged in an elegant box. A certificate will also be issued with the justification of the selection of the award winner as well as the previous statue of the Heinz Badewitz Award.

The Film and Media Arts Department of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts will annually select a mentor who will choose the respective award winner. Additionally, the mentor will advise the award winner for the duration of one year in the development of a new film. For 2018, the director Edgar Reitz (whose films include HEIMAT, HOME FROM HOME – CHRONICLE OF A VISION, among others) has taken on mentoring responsibilities.

The “Hof Gold Prize of the Friedrich Baur Foundation Awarded by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Memory of Heinz Badewitz” offers filmmakers and producers additional motivation and a financial basis for the development and creation of new film projects. Directors whose debut feature films have been produced in Germany are eligible for participation. Films may be submitted until 3 September 2018 via the » entry form.

“The Hof Badewitz Gold Prize of the Friedrich Baur Stiftung, which will be awarded by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, combines two things: it offers the award winners a financial cushion enabling them to work independently, and through the mentoring principle, also opens doors to the market. This combination is a sustainable concept and is truly unique.” Thorsten Schaumann, Artistic Director of the Hof International Film Festival

The prize will be awarded at the end of the festival on Saturday, 27 October 2018 during a special event.

Title photo – from left to right: Thorsten Schaumann, Edgar Reitz, Gold Prize mentor 2018, Dr. Georg Freiherr von Waldenfels, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Friedrich Baur Foundation, Bernhard Sinkel, Head of the Department of Film and Media Arts at the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. Photo: Hof International Film Festival / Benjamin Klob

The ownership of the Hof Galeriehaus has now been taken over by the Cine Center Hof e.V., the sponsoring organization of the Hof International Film Festival. On 19 June 2018, the board of the Cine Center and Dr. Karl Schmidt, previous owner of the property, signed the sales agreement. Thanks to the generous donations which came together through the crowdfunding campaign of the VR-Bank, the Cine Center could acquire the building. The Galeriehaus is to be preserved as a cultural location, which was of paramount importance to Dr. Schmidt and which the Cine Center can now guarantee. The chairwoman of the Cine Center Hof e.V., Ana Radica:

“It’s wonderful that we now have the Galeriehaus and and can redevelop it. We are very pleased that we were able to come to an uncomplicated agreement with Dr. Schmidt. It has always been our common goal to maintain the ‘primal cell’ of the Hof International Film Festival. This helped to build trust and provided the basis for a successful change of ownership. Now we can carry on with our plans.”

The deputy chairman, Andreas Walter, also added: “With this change of ownership, a circle is now completed.” The banker Dr. Karl Gerhard Schmidt was the first person to support the Hof International Film Festival when it all began back in 1967. He bought the building on the Sophienberg which then, under Werner Weinelt’s “direction” achieved cult status as the Galeriehaus and was for decades a meeting point for filmmakers during the festival.

And this is what the Galeriehaus is to become again.

Photo: After notarisation of the sales contract, left to right: Dr. Karl Gerhard Schmidt and the members of the board of the Cine Center Hof e.V., Christine Walther, Ana Radica and Andreas Walter.

HoF Filmtage Rendezvous – BERLIN EXCELSIOR mit Erik Lemke (Regie) und André Krummel (Kameramann)

It happened again on Thursday, 19 April 2018: another HoF Festival Rendezvous, this time with BERLIN EXCELSIOR. In the Central cinema, the documentary film was screened in the presence of the director Erik Lemke and cameraman André Krummel. And there were lively discussions after the screening, both in the cinema and in the Galeriehaus.

„We had really fascinating discussions until late in the night – audiences in Hof are extremely interested. And the impact the festival has on their cinematic curiosity is very evident.“ Erik Lemke

Von links nach rechts - Thorsten Schaumann, Erik Lemke (Regie), André Krummel (Kameramann) - Foto: Andreas Rau

„I always enjoy coming to Hof and certainly look forward to returning in the future.“ André Krummel

Once again, we would like to express our sincere thanks to Dr. Gisela Strunz and the Hermann and Bertl Müller Foundation as well as to Stefan Schmalfuß from the Central cinema.

Title photo: From left to right – Andreas Walter, Thorsten Schaumann, Erik Lemke (director), André Krummel (cameraman), Stefan Schmalfuß (Central cinema), Christine Walther, Dr. Gisela Strunz (Hermann and Bertl Müller Foundation) – Photo: Andreas Rau

The VGF Collecting Society is presenting its 25th anniversary VGF Young Producers’ Prize with an endowment of 60,000 euros at this year’s Hof International Film Festival on 26 October 2018. The highest endowed German award for up-and-coming producers had been previously presented within the framework of the Bavarian Film Prize. By presenting the award during the 52nd Hof International Film Festival (23-28 October 2018), the VGF Collecting Society is emphasizing its commitment and that of the Hof International Film Festival to the support of up-and-coming film talent.

The festival, which was founded in 1967, is to this day one of the most important platforms for young German cinema, is always open to new talent and helps this young talent find its way into cinemas. To support and honor this important task, the 25th VGF Young Producers’ Prize will be presented during the Hof International Film Festival.

“We are delighted that the 25th VGF Young Producers’ Prize will be presented this year during the 52nd Hof International Film Festival. Together, we are striving toward the common goal of supporting up-and-coming talent. The award ceremony at the Home of Films gives the filmmakers an ideal platform to make new contacts, not only for their current films, but also for their future work.” Thorsten Schaumann, Artistic Director of the Hof International Film Festival

Applications for the VGF Young Producers’ Prize may be submitted by up-and-coming German producers for their first, second or third theatrical feature (minimum runtime: 79 minutes) which will have a theatrical release in the year 2018. Applications must be submitted by 30 June 2018. Detailed regulations may be requested from the VGF or from their » website www.vgf.de. The award money is not appropriated and is intended to strengthen the equity capital of young production companies.

Previous winners of the award include such cinema hits as THE LIVES OF OTHERS and THE WILD SOCCER BUNCH, and most recently PRETTY FAR FROM OKAY by the Munich-based producer Helena Hufnagel of Cocofilms.

In addtion to the VGF Young Producers’ Prize, the VGF also awards office stipends at the Bavarian Film Center Geiselgasteig and supports the work of film academies. Established in 1981, the VGF is a collecting society authorized by the German Patents Office in accordance with the terms of the Copyright Administration Act. The aim of the VGF is to assert and exploit claims assigned to them and to film copyright holders by the Copyright Act and to uphold the rights to which they are collectively entitled, including for levies on electronic recording material and devices for private duplication, remuneration for the supplying of films for cable networks, as well as DVD rental.

… including in the categories “Best Picture” and “Directing” – amaaaazing! THE SHAPE OF WATER had its German premiere at the 51. International Hofer Film Festival and can be seen in cinemas now!

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Feature film | USA | 2017
123 min | Dolby 5.1

THE SHAPE OF WATER is a poetic love story, set against the backdrop of the Cold War era in America around 1963. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and her co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment.

VR-Bank Bayreuth-Hof übergibt € 54.690 aus der Crowdfunding-Aktion für das Galeriehaus.

The VR-Bank Bayreuth-Hof has collected donations via its crowdfunding platform for numerous projects, but the proceeds which came together for the Galeriehaus were the highest ever. Bernd Schnabel, board member of the VR-Bank, handed over a check for €54,690 to Christine Walther, Andreas Walter and Thorsten Schaumann of the Cine Center Hof e.V. team.

„We are very pleased that this campaign has made it possible for the tradition of the Galeriehaus in Hof to continue.“ Bernd Schnabel

The campaign had a “fantastic run,” said Andreas Walter and thanked the almost 250 donors. Thorsten Schaumann, artistic director of the Hof International Film Festival, expressed his “incredible respect” to everyone who participated. The next step is to finalize the sales contract with the current owner of the Galeriehaus, Dr. Karl Gerhard Schmidt. In order to maintain the Galeriehaus as a cultural venue, the Cine Center Hof e.V. is planning extensive renovations after the purchase of the building.

Photo (Annie Sziegoleit): Thorsten Schaumann, Andreas Walter and Christine Walther (Cine Center Hof e.V.) with Bernd Schnabel and Liska Kemnitzer (VR-Bank).


After the world premiere at the 51st Hof International Film Festival the film had its theatrical release on 22 February 2018. Since then TASTE OF LIFE and team have been on cinema tour. Check out where and when: » www.geschmackvonleben.com

Director: Roland Reber
Feature film | D | 2017
85 min | Stereo

What does life taste like? For the happy-go-lucky Nikki, the answer is clear: like sperm. And with great pleasure, she savors it every chance she gets. She operates a video blog and drives all around in search of people and their stories.

HoF Filmtage Rendezvous – Tini Tüllmann zeigt FREDDY/EDDY

The Hof International Film Festival presents about 130 movies during 6 days – cinema intense! But of course, movies are not only shown in Hof during the festival. The whole year through you can see great movies beyond the mainstream. Under the motto HoF Festival Rendezvous – let’s do it again you can see selected movies from the last festival during the year. This is a great way to refresh memories and increase the thrill of anticipation for the 2018 edition.

“Cinema is, again and again, always a great experience. Cinema is Hof, Hof is cinema and deservedly so our Home of Films!” Thorsten Schaumann

Catch up or make new discoveries – Enjoy! To be continued within short …

The acquisition and survival of the long-established “galeriehaus” has been secured. And the Cine Center Hof e.V., as the organizer of the Hof International Film Festival, would like to express its sincere thanks to all the supporters of the crowdfunding campaign by the VR Bank Bayreuth-Hof eG. Within three months’ time, 227 supporters donated 54,690 euros under the motto “together we can do more”.

„Thank you to all donors! It is of utmost importance for us to maintain the galeriehaus as a cultural and spiritual entity of the Hof International Film Festival. For this reason, we would like to acquire and renovate this reasonably priced building.“ Andreas Walter, Deputy Chair of the Cine Center Hof e.V.

For the last almost 50 years, the galeriehaus in the heart of Hof has existed in its current form. Since its opening, it has established itself as a location where the arts and enthusiasm meet. Heinz Badewitz was also a regular guest at the galeriehaus and a close friend of the in 2017 deceased proprietor Werner Weinelt. The Cine Center Hof e.V. would like to support this nucleus of the Hof International Film Festival in the tradition of Werner Weinelt.