When the last cinema screening ended on Sunday evening, it was half time for the 54th Hof International Festival 2020, with which we set a strong signal for the film industry and for all those involved in the cultural sector. Moving, emotional and highly exciting, this year's festival was an enormous challenge for everyone. With the strictest safety precautions and hygiene measures, it was important to offer the filmmakers a platform to present their films in the cinema and to enable an exchange with like-minded people in this adverse time determined by Covid-19. It was just as important for the audience to enjoy the diversity of the cinema, as usual during the Hof International Film Festival. Thus we offered what Hof has always been and still is, an encounter with and about films, albeit this year at a distance and without parties.
The extremely positive and emotional feedback from the industry and the filmmakers and audience is enormous and overwhelming. Above all, it gives us organizers the certainty that it was right and important to hold the Hof International Film Festival as a physical festival, because cinema lives!
The love for the cinema is palpable. With a seating capacity factor of approx. 25% compared to the usual seats of the years before (1,538), the festival was able to record an average of 4,700 visitors in 5 days in the venues, resulting in a seating capacity factor of 42%.
Parallel to the cinema screenings in Hof, a digital dynamic with HoF On Demand was developed. For the first time, we were able to offer a dual festival that reflects the entire program online and on demand and is available until 1 November 2020. Five premieres were streamed live directly from the cinema.
As the first festival ever, we were able to report live from the GASTHoF with our own Late Night Talk, from Sunday, 18 October to Monday, 26 October daily from 11 pm, over 11 hours in total, in addition to a series of club talks with various directors. Each day, almost 6 hours of specially produced content were shown live and interactively online.
Again this year, a selection of young filmmakers could present their exposés to a highly-qualified group of industry experts with the HoF PLUS 7 speed pitch, this time virtually: Dr. Claudia Gladziejewski (BR), Thorsten Ritter (Beta Cinema GmbH), Tobias Rosen (Warner Bros. International Television Production Deutschland GmbH), Anne Tide (The Walt Disney Company Germany GmbH) and Kirsten Wille (DCM Pictures GmbH).
Among the many guests who came to Hof this year despite everything, we were pleased to welcome: Emily Atef, Alfred Holighaus, Jürgen Prochnow, Axel Ranisch, Tim Seyfi, Rosalie Thomass and Max von der Groeben as well as many young up-and-coming filmmakers.