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One Highlight of the year: 56th International Hof Film Festival begins on Tuesday

The International Hof Film Festival is one of the most important film festivals in Germany, and every year it transforms the university town into a Mecca for cineastes and filmmakers. The 56th edition will take place this year from October 25 to 30. The Film Days are regarded as a platform for up-and-coming German filmmakers and for discovering young German-language talent. Equally important are the independent films from around the world, which make up around half of the total of around 130 feature films, documentaries and short films in the program.

The venues for the film days are the Scala Kino (Wörthstraße 4) and the Central Kino in Hof’s old town. During the six-day festival, a total of eleven movie theaters with more than 1,500 seats will be used. A total of around 250 screenings will take place. What is special about this is that the screenings are usually presented by the directors themselves, who personally answer questions from the audience after the German premiere of their work. Not only media representatives, but also ordinary moviegoers are allowed to ask questions. A total of nine prizes and awards are presented during the film week, including the coveted “Film Prize of the City of Hof”.

Rush for the tickets: Especially at the beginning of the Hof Film Days, it is not uncommon for longer queues to form when it is time to secure the coveted tickets; Photo: Thomas Neumann;

The opening film this year also promises to be amusing: “Olaf Jagger” by Heike Fink will open this year’s festival. And this is what it’s all about: The well-known cabaret artist Olaf Schubert – who, by the way, comes from Hof’s neighboring town of Plauen – finds an old tape in the cellar of his parents’ house on which an interview with his mother and Mick Jagger can be heard. And this in the year 1965! His parents’ house was in what was then East Germany, and the Wall separated East from West. Olaf Jagger sets off in search of this secret, which becomes a journey full of absurd situations and curious entanglements in the East-West tangle.

“Olaf Jagger” opens this year’s 56th International Hof Film Festival; (Image: Martin Rottenkolber/Ester.Reglin.Film);

But there is also a lot going on around the festival: With a bit of luck, you can meet well-known film faces and the odd celebrity in the old town or evenings in the pubs or at parties – because Hof does not stand for the “Home of Films” in the film scene for nothing: many well-known filmmakers such as Tom Tykwer, Caroline Link, Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Peter Jackson and Werner Herzog made their debut in Hof with one of their first films and went on to conquer the international film world. While the later Oscar winner Caroline Link even worked for several years at the Filmtage as a guest host, it is said of “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson that he worked on his world-famous trilogy at the “Hotel Strauß” during the Hof Filmtage. You can hear these and many other stories during Filmtage city tours, among other things.

ARTE Film Days party in the HOFTEX factory hall; Photo: Thomas Neumann;

If you can’t wait for the next festival after the Filmtage, you should take a look at Konrad-Adenauer-Platz. The film day column there shows exactly that. Every day 3 small lights shine more at the column. When the column is completely illuminated, it means that it’s film festival time again

The Film Days column at Konrad-Adenauer-Platz in Hof shines with all its lights; Photo: Stephan Weiss;

And by the way: Even after the Hof Film Festival, a visit to the Hof cinemas is worthwhile: There are regularly reduced prices or other special offers for students.

Everything about the International Hof Film Festival can be found here

Rainer Krauß

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