Crowdfunding Campaign for galeriehaus Hof Launched

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 2016 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. This unique location should continue to provide a stage for visual and performing arts, music and literature. Ana Radica and Andreas Walter, chairpersons of the Cine Center Hof e.V.:

“We were fortunate to be able to win over Michael Böhm, a close friend of Werner Weinelt, as the proprietor of the galeriehaus. 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.”

But in order to accomplish this mission, the Cine Center Hof e.V. needs your help! Until the end of January, you too can financially support and contribute to this crowdfunding campaign of the VR Bank Bayreuth-Hof eG.

The latest German films

With 40 feature films – six co-productions among them – German productions are showing their strengths at the 51st Hof International Film Festival. The filmmakers deal with topics about life, be it from an internal perspective or the viewpoint of the observer; it’s about refugees, self-determination, coming of age, or strong women; it’s about life with each other and all its associated difficulties.

We would like to present a few of the highlights from the feature film program:

FULL MOON by Andreas Arnstedt is his fourth film to premiere in Hof. In 2014, Arnstedt received the German Cinema New Talent Award for his film DER KUCKUCK UND DER ESEL. His new film, based on true events, portrays, the story of Lara Wildner, a young woman suffering from a traumatic experience who constantly affronts her surroundings. In the leading roles are Elzemarieke de Vos, Oliver Stokowski and Stephan Grossmann.

DO NOT WORRY! by Emily Atef tells a story of love and mistrust and an environment which made it possible for a family to free their son from the grips of the Islamic State and bring him back home. But their initial relief and happiness about their son’s homecoming soon gives way to the growing mistrust of their own son’s true views. With Jörg Schüttauf, Ulrike C. Tsharre, Leonard Carow and Leonard.

BRUT by Constantin Hatz, winner of the German Cinema New Talent Award 2015 for FUGE, completes his mother-child relationship series. Once again, he depicts the attempts of a young woman to break free from her dominant mother’s chains.

THE YEAR I LOST MY MIND by Tor Iben tells the story of Tom, who, during one of his break-ins, falls in love with one of his victims, Lars. From that point on, Tom begins to secretly stalk and observe Lars, entangling himself in a labyrinth of passion.

BREAKDOWN IN TOKYO by Zoltan Paul sends the director Lászlo on a roadtrip through Tokyo in search of his former lover, who, out of disappointment, is seeking revenge on him and has disappeared with all of his production data. But Lászlo’s original plan was to accompany his son’s band PeroPero on tour, not to fall head over heels in love.

WALDLUST by Axel Ranisch sends the police commissioner, alias Ulrike Folkerts, and her colleagues to a training course to a remote hotel in the Black Forest. And of course, the strange events in this dilapidated hotel arouse the commissioners’ curiosity. Axel Ranisch has become a “veteran” of Hof and is presenting his sixth film.

DER GESCHMACK VON LEBEN by Roland Reber poses the question “what does life taste like?” Roland Reber, who as one of the few German independent German filmmakers makes dynamic and unconventional films with his film troop, has a simple answer.

NAOMIS REISE is Frieder Schleich’s third film about migration and follows the murder trial of a young South American woman within the framework of a hidden women and marriage trafficking market. The film is about justice and objectivity in the German legal system.

REWIND by Johannes F. Sievert sends the commissioner Richard Landers on a science-fiction time trip which is meant to help him solve a murder case, but also to deal with his own past. In the leading roles are Alex Brendemühl, Max von Pufendorf and Sylvia Hoeks.

GATEKEEPER by Lawrence Tooley portrays the manipulations of human traffickers, based on an unusual relationship between a wealthy gallery owner and a migrant. But the film also makes it clear that questions on the topic of emigration are unwelcome.

AUFBRUCH INS UNGEWISSE by Kai Wessel tells the story of a family, in a not precisely defined future and on the run from a totalitarian Germany, seeking refuge in South Africa. Fabian Busch and Maria Simon are in the leading roles.


Film also involves discussions of and about films. With HoF PLUS, the 51st Hof International Film Festival is giving a special focus to hot topics within the industry and presenting, in addition to its already well-established Club Talks, quite a few interesting events in this new program.

The kick off of this new series will take place on Wednesday afternoon, 25 October 2017 with a discussion entitled NO PAY, BUT DELICIOUS CATERING – Acting Engagements in University and Debut Films, hosted by the Federal Drama Association.

On Thursday, 26 October 2017 it will be all about digitalization in the film world, including distribution. Against this backdrop, terminology of transactional business like TVOD, EST, and SVOD will be defined and discussed, and the portal INDIEswitch will be introduced. Digitalization also offers new possibilities in production as well. ARRI Media will take us to VIRTUAL WORLDS. Two testing stations will allow the viewer to experience Virtual and Augmented Reality up close and personally.

On Friday afternoon, 27 October 2017, a top-level panel entitled RAIDERS OF THE LOST AUDIENCE will discuss topics in film distribution and exploitation. The discussion will not only revolve around the question as to why some festival films don’t make it to cinemas, but will also consider alternative marketing means. A highly topical issue.

Cinema lives more than ever. This is proven first and foremost of course with the films we have selected for this year’s Hof International Film Festival. HoF PLUS addresses issues which are, to a certain extent, still quite controversial. But that is HoF. We are keeping our eyes peeled, looking into the future and searching for solutions. It’s going to be exciting!Thorsten Schaumann

  • Booklet

    HoF PLUS – Interesting events (PDF)

  • Schedule

    HoF PLUS – All dates and times (PDF)

An overview of the events:

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

NO PAY, BUT DELICIOUS CATERING – Acting Engagements in University and Debut Films
14:30 – 16:30 h, Panel discussion, Fabrikhalle HofTex

Members of the podium will include: Simone Wagner (Federal Drama Association), Bernhard F. Störkmann (Federal Drama Association), Christian Knie (director), Ulrich Aselmann (die film), Stephen Sikder (Dream Team) and Julia Bezzenberger (Agents’ Association). The panel will be moderated by Urs Spörri (Kultur Event).

The participants will discuss the consequences of the introduction of the Miminum Wage Act in 2015, whereby acting contracts for university films were significantly ammended, replacing the word salary with unsalaried.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

INDIEswitch – the VOD portal alongside cinemas
11:00 – 12:30, Round table, Café Rossini – for accredited professionals only

Concepts of transactional business, such as TVOD, EST, and SVOD, which are often used, but not always consistently, will be defined and discussed. Jürgen Fabritius and his colleagues Jochen Kröhne and Michael Bischoff will introduce the VOD portal INDIEswitch, which will go online in December 2017.

Fabrikhalle HofTex
11:00 – 14:30 Live Experience: two VR and AR testing stations
14:30 – 15:30 Virtual Worlds – A presentation with practical examples
15:30 – 17:00 Live Experience: two VR and AR testing stations

Ozan Saltuk, Junior Unity Programmer at ARRI Media, will give a talk about the topic and demonstrate practical examples of Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Friday, 27 October 2017

14:30 – 16:00, Panel discussion, Fabrikhalle HofTex

Panel guests include: Andreas Arnstedt (director and producer, Questionmark Entertainment), Andreas Rothbauer (Picture Tree International), Fabian Wolfart (Pantaflix), Christian Pfeil (Arena Filmtheater), Christoph Ott (NFP marketing & distribution), Dr. Klaus Schaefer (FFF Bayern). Alfred Holighaus (SPIO President) will moderate the event.

Issues to be discussed include: Why successful festival films sometimes do not make it into cinemas, how can alternative strategies entice viewers into cinemas to see films beyond the mainstream, and how digital platforms can in fact be an interesting way to attract viewers.

The Year of new Discoveries

The 51st Hof International Film Festival, under the new artistic director Thorsten Schaumann, is placing a special focus on young filmmakers. This year’s edition is full of new discoveries, topics taken from real life, politically relevant tales, and stories about strong women.

“German films are quite diversified. It is fascinating to see what kinds of subjects concern young directors. There are topics of social commitment, wild party life, self-determination and current socio-political problems. In any case, we have a lot of surprises this year.” Thorsten Schaumann

Here is a first selection:

AVA by Sabine Nawrath portrays the ambition of a young competitive athlete against the backdrop of her own personal sorrow.

DECKNAME JENNY by Samira Fansa tells the fictive story of young activists and former militants, about people who are not willing to accept the idea Europe as a fortress.

FREIHEIT by Jan Speckenbach, who has already been to Hof in 2008 and 2009 with short films, poses the questions of what freedom is worth and what do happiness and freedom really mean?

LA DEUTSCHE VITA by Nicolas Clasen portrays the wild party life of three friends who are searching for their place in life. Each in his own individual way, but not everyone can deal with life’s challenges. Frederick Lau, Andreas Bichler and Max Rothbart are in the leading roles.

LUX, KRIEGER DES LICHTS by Daniel Wild accompanies the real life superhero Lux in his everyday fight for a better world. When a film team takes notice of him, things change and nothing is as it was before. The leading role of the superhero is played by Franz Rogowski.

SOMEWHERE IN TONGA by Florian Schewe journeys to the Kingdom of Tonga, where Wolski, a social education worker, wants to help give a criminal youth a second chance. They move to a desert island together, but the situation escalates. Wolski doesn’t give up. Thrillingly told and based on a true story.

VON KOMISCHEN VÖGELN by Eike Weinreich tells the story of an attempts to rid oneself of one’s own valuations and prejudices in a thoroughly moralized society and to find a new path in life.

ZWISCHEN SOMMER & HERBST by Daniel Manns depicts the unusual encounter between two women; in the midst of an intimate setting, a gripping love story develops.

Tony Gatlif: Retrospective of the 51st Hof International Film Festival

The retrospective of the 51st Hof International Film Festival will be dedicated to the French director, screenwriter and composer Tony Gatlif. Gatlif gained notoriety through such films as VENGO (2000), EXILES (2004), TRANSYLVANIA (2006), and GERONIMO (2014). His films deal with the Sinti and Roma, their persecution and social marginalization. “The Roma should be left alone and given the opportunity to earn enough to live, like all other Europeans, and we should end our prejudices,” says Tony Gatlif. Music also plays a significant role in his films, not only the Rembetiko, but especially gypsy music, not least because of his own heritage.

Tony Gatlif was born in 1948 in Algeria. His mother was Romani, his father Kabyle, an Algerian Berber. Both cultures influence his film work to this day and are the driving force behind his films. In the 1960s Gatlif went to France, where he still lives today. His films have been invited to numerous festivals, including Cannes, where he won the Best Director prize for EXILES in 2004. In 2011, he was awarded the Prix Henri-Langlois for Humanity and Commitment. In 2016 he won the Human Rights Film Festival Award in San Sebastian.

In Hof, Tony Gatlif will not only present the retrospective, but also his latest film DJAM, together with the leading actress Daphne Patakia (Photo). The young Greek woman Djam is sent by her uncle to Istanbul to get a rare spare part for a boat. In Istanbul she meets the 19-year-old French girl Avril, who came to Turkey to work as a refugee relief worker. But without money and contacts, the young woman is lost. The cheeky, independent, generous and unpredictable Djam takes her under her wing and a journey full of hope and wonderful encounters, great music and the joy of sharing begins. MFA+ will release the film in early 2018 in German cinemas.

The films of the retrospective

Feature film 1983, with Gérard Darmon, Muse Dalbray, Concha Tavora and others.
Nara, a Romani, lives with his daughter Zorka and his old mother in a desolate social estate block on the outskirts of Paris and supports his family with little deals. He recently threw his wife Miralda out of the apartment because he started taking birth control pills against his wishes. But then Miralda’s brothers show up and confront Nara.

Documentary 1993.
Tony Gatlif accompanies the Roma for over a year in different countries, from India to Egypt, and sketches their lives as nomads, their culture, their traditions, their music, and their dances. But it is also a film about their desires and their fight for survival.

Feature film 1997, with Romain Duris, Rona Harter, Izidor Servan and others.
César Award for Best Score 1999.
After the death of his father, the young Parisian Stéphane travels to Romania to find the legendary Romani singer Nora Luca, who his father had told him so much about. One night he meeds the old Izidor, who as the village chief, takes him with him to his village. He is determined to teach the young man proper Romani. And suddenly Stéphane finds his place in this very closed world, one which is characterized by mistrust, and learns the true meaning of tolerance.

Feature film 2000, with Antonio Canales, Antonio Dechent, Bobote and others.
César Award for Best Score 2000.
In the middle of the Moorish, dusty villages of Andalusia, violent family feuds are taking place. Caco, patriarch of the family, cannot get over the death of his daughter. He searches for comfort at wild music festivals, in hot Flamenco rhythms, and in the love for his handicapped nephew. When Caco is supposed to betray his brother to a rival clan, he is faced with an internal conflict.

Feature film 2002, with Oscar Copp, Lou Rech, Tchavolo Schmitt, Mandino Reinhardt and others.
The 10-year-old Max spends his holidays with his grandmother, a sedentary Sinti who lives on the outskirts of Strasbourg. The encounter with the virtuoso guitar player of the Rom Miraldo changes his life.

Feature film 2004, with Romain Duris, Lubna Azabel, Zouhir Gacem and others.
Best Direction Cannes 2004.
Zano and his girlfiend Naima take off to Algeria to get to know their parents’ homeland. With only music in their bags, they wander from one encounter to the next, from techno rhythms to Flamenco, and bit for bit back along the route that the parents of so many of their generation took into exile to the north.

Feature film 2006, with Asia Argento, Amira Cesar, Briol Ünel and others.
The pregnant Zingarina travels with her friend Marie from France to Translyvania to find her boyfriend Milan. When she finds him she is confronted with the fact that he wasn’t actually deported, but actually left her. Zingarina’s journey takes on a different course.

Feature film 2014, with Céline Sallette, Rachid Yous, David Murgia and others.
Geronimo, a young social worker, is trying to settle the tension between two youth gangs in St. Pierre. When a Turkish girl runs off to her Romani boyfriend in order to escape an arranged marriage, the hostility between the two clans surfaces during a music competition.


The 51st Hof International Film Festival 2017 to open with THREE PEAKS

The 51st Hof International Film Festival will open on 24 October 2017 with the film THREE PEAKS by Jan Zabeil (THE RIVER USED TO BE A MAN). The German-Italian production was recently an audience favorite at this year’s Locarno Film Festival and won the Variety Piazza Grande Award 2017.

In the leading roles which have been wonderfully cast with Alexander Fehling and Bérénice Bejo, THREE PEAKS tells the story of Aaron, who takes a trip with his girlfriend Lea and her son Tristan to the mountains, where their relationship is unexpectedly put to the test.

“With THREE PEAKS Jan Zabeil once again proves his great talent as a filmmaker. With fine and subtle tones, he develops a suspense from which the viewer cannot escape. The actors as well as the cinematography impart a deceptive lightness to this dramatic mountain trip of a young patchwork family. It is simply marvelous to see this in the cinema. I am very much looking forward to Jan Zabeil’s film THREE PEAKS opening our Home of Films at the festival’s 51st edition.” Thorsten Schaumann, the new artistic director of the Hof International Film Festival

THREE PEAKS is the second film of the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF graduate Jan Zabeil and is a production by Rohfilm Productions (Germany) and Echo Film (Italy). NFP marketing & distribution will be releasing the film in German cinemas on 1 February 2018.

Thorsten Schaumann

Thorsten Schaumann is the new artistic director of the Hof International Film Festival

On 1 September 2017, Thorsten Schaumann will officially take over the artistic direction of the Hof International Film Festival. In the previous year, he already curated the 50th edition of the festival’s program together with Linda Söffker and Alfred Holighaus.

Thorsten Schaumann, born in 1968, brings long-standing experience from the industry with him. Through his work at Bavaria Film International he developed extensive national and international contacts to world sales agents, distributors and producers. At Bavaria Film International he was responsible for the sales and supervision of German and international films like Helmut Dietl’s ROSSINI, Tom Tykwer’s RUN LOLA RUN, Wolfgang Becker’s GOOD BYE, LENIN!, Caroline Link’s NOWHERE IN AFRICA, Sönke Wortmann’s THE MIRACLE OF BERN, Fatih Akin’s HEAD-ON, Hans-Christian Schmid’s REQUIEM, Volker Schlöndorff’s THE LEGENDS OF RITA, Doris Dörrie’s CHERRY BLOSSOMS – HANAMI, and Aki Kaurismäki’s THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST. During this time, Thorsten Schaumann established contacts with the filmmakers and developed a special sense for up-and-coming film talents and auteur films.

He was also a member of the board of the Association of German Film Exporters and was a founding member of the European Film Export Association with its headquarters in Paris. Additionally, he also has a profound commercial understanding through his studies in Economics.

Thorsten Schaumann is currently employed by Sky Deutschland as Director of Acquisitions Digital Rights & Rights Coordination. During his many years there, he has gained valuable experience in the fields of film rights, licensing, acquisitions and marketing, particularly in the field of new media: a area which the Hof International Film Festival intends to focus on the future.

“We are very happy to have been able to win over Thorsten Schaumann for the artistic direction for the Hof International Film Festival. He brings not only the best pre-requisites and competency, much more so he has been a long-time friend of the festival and will be a great addition in this executive position to our festival team. We are certain to be able to continue Heinz Badewitz’s legacy together with him.” Ana Radica, Board Cine Center Hof e.V.

Thorsten Schaumann will be supported by the team which has already for many years helped to shape the festival and proved themselves once again in the past year: Rudy Tijo, Inge Hagedorn and Martin Scheuring.