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.