Founded in 1992, Filmfest Hamburg is one of Germany's leading film festivals, with audience numbers reaching 40,000 each year. Around 140 local and international feature films and documentaries are screened in world, European, or German premieres at the event spread across a dozen festival sections. Supported by German distributors, this festival offers a testing ground for films to be screened to the public prior to their commercial release. This is a non-competitive event, although it includes the presentation of the Hamburg Critics' Prize and several other informal awards. The Douglas Sirk Award, named after the Hamburg-born director, honors a film artist for his or her outstanding contribution to cinematic culture. This year's recipient was the actress Tilda Swinton.
The festival was held in the Cinemax multiplex located in the city center. Around ten theaters with between 100 and 400 seats showcased the films selected by the event's artistic director Albert Wiederspiel.
The following films were particularly well-received at this year's festival, presented by the distributors Weltkino, Prokino, and Salzgeber:
* 17歳 by François Ozon/WELTKINO
* Venus in Fur by Roman Polanski/PROKINO
* Tenderness by Marion Hansel/SALZGEBER
12 French feature films were included in the Official Selection:
The French delegation included Emmanuelle Seigner, Hiner Saleem, Kamal Hachkar, Sylvain Georges, Serge Avedikian, Justine Triet, and Marilyne Canto.