"The best little 'movies from hell' are always shown for the first time in HoF."

John Waters

With the series |8|16|35| HoF Classics on Film, we reflect on the origins of cinema and the Hof International Film Festival (HIFF). More than 120 years ago, the first movements were captured on film and made accessible to a larger audience. Until the beginning of the 2000s, analog film dominated before the digital copy displaced it. But to this day, the fascination for analog film material remains unbroken. Special cinematic moments of past festivals can only be relived with |8|16|35| 'in your cinema' in Hof.

The Raven

The Raven - Poster 1

Starting in the early 70s, HoF became a second home of the young US indie scene. This included director and producer Roger Corman. Festival director Heinz Badewitz had had his sights set on the filmmaker for a long time and showed both his old and new films. In 1978, along with GAS-S-S-S (1971), this was the persiflage on the horror genre, THE RAVEN from 1963, which thus celebrated its late German premiere in Hof. In 1981 Corman came to Hof presenting the retrospective dedicated to him. Thus, he finally met his large fan audience in person.


12th Hof International Film Festival (1978)
Director: Roger Corman


Polyester - Poster 1

The young US indie filmmaker John Waters was able to shoot the film POLYESTER on 35mm for the first time, again with his favorite actress in the lead role: Divine. POLYESTER is one of the few films that were shown in Odorama (olfactory cinema). Moviegoers were given scratch cards that, when used, emitted the smell that matched the scene.

At the premiere of POLYESTER in Hof, John Waters (who had already been in Hof in 1974 with PINK FLAMINGO) personally handed out the Odorama cards to the audience in the Central Kino. He said, "HoF is like Baltimore - no pomp, but a real working atmosphere, fully proud of the fact that the best little 'movies from hell' are always shown here for the first time."


15th Hof International Film Festival, 1981
Director: John Waters


Kids - Poster 1

Denigrated as child porn and legendary at the same time, this is Larry Clark's KIDS. It is not the images that make the film so tough, but rather the authentic language. When the child protagonists talk to each other, there are no taboos. No matter if it's about the first time, anal sex or the taste of sperm. KIDS also addresses the issue of HIV. The film was one of the most discussed films of 1995 and is still relevant today.


29th Hof International Film Festival, 1995
Director: Larry Clark

The first time

Das erste Mal - Poster 1

After Heinz Badewitz had rejected a short film by director Connie Walther years before, THE FIRST TIME was a world premiere in a double sense: It was Walther's debut film and her first time at HIFF. And the director remembers it very well:

"It was 8 p.m. on Saturday evening and the hall was full. A short film was shown before my feature film. That was a knee-slapper for people with a determined sense of humor...The loud, self-assertive laughter died down after fifteen minutes...My directorial baptism of fire in HoF was hell! We got drunk together in style and sensibility in one of those very special pubs in the city of Hof...".

Connie Walther has now been long out of hell and is a permanent member of the HoF family, almost in heaven!


30th Hof International Film Festival, 1996
Director: Connie Walther

Elsker dig for evigt

Elsker dig for evigt - Poster 1

Susanne Bier started directing music videos and advertising clips. The feature film debut THE ONE AND ONLY brought Bier the breakthrough in her Danish home. She attracted international attention with the Dogma film OPEN HEARTS, which thrilled the audience at the 36th HIFF 2002. The production marked a turning point in her career, as from then on she worked more and more internationally. Just four years later she was filming in Hollywood.


36th Hof International Film Festival, 2002
Director: Susanne Bier