Filmmaking is a creative field, which is why it goes without saying that various fantastic and bizarre-looking stories will also be told at the 54th Hof International Film Festival. In contrast to common concepts of fictional feature films, these works deliberately focus on mythical creatures, fantastic elements and social ‘birds of paradise’ to provide a new perspective on storytelling. But the human psyche is also in focus here – whether as a creative head and creator of a film universe or as a mistreated soul with coping strategies far removed from reality or at edge of the human abyss. Strong mysticism with its mysteries pulls us out of our reality this year with some weird works.
We are also pleased to welcome a long-time friend back to the Home of Films, a master of critical sentimentality: Ludwig Wüst. With his trilogy “Leaving Home / Coming Home” we dedicate a HoF-Homecoming Special to him and his idiosyncratic and bizarre films.
A selection of the films:
I BLAME SOCIETY
Director: Gillian Wallace Horvat (USA 2020)
An insecure filmmaker suspects that her friends are losing faith in her. In order to prove herself, she decides to finish her last unfinished film ... and commit the perfect murder.
With Gillian Wallace Horvat, Keith Poulson, Chase Williamson, Alexia Rasmussen
IM NACHTLICHT / IN THE LIGHT OF THE NIGHT
Director: Misha L. Kreuz (Germany 2020)
Minthe Hellheim suffers from depression: She doesn’t know where she comes from nor who her parents are, she spent her childhood in foster homes. Tormented by recurring nightmares, she struggles through with odd jobs. A new beginning is within reach when she receives a job offer. She is to restore an old mill in her hometown. She has no idea that she is the victim of an intrigue. Suddenly she finds herself confronted with the secret world of the "shape-shifters" in "Wolfstal". In search of her true identity, she has to face her past and mysterious creatures and finally starts a whole new life.
With Diana Maria Frank, Ruby O. Fee, Ralf Drexler, David Rott
Director: Thomas Fischer (Germany 2020)
Florian Dahlmann and the journalist Hochstätter undertake research to prove the existence of a secret society. The investigations soon confirm the suspicion that Florian’s father might be involved in the organization’s questionable activities.
With Philipp Strauss, Holger Kunkel, Klara Höfels, Hendrik Geist
Director: Andreas Resch (Germany 2020)
After a difficult separation, Marlene wants to start a new life in Berlin. And indeed, at first it seems as if she could escape the trauma that lies over her broken relationship: Marlene finds fulfillment in her job, she makes new friends – and she meets her upstairs neighbor, Flo. Marlene is too busy with herself and her new life to realize what Flo really wants. And as such, she loses herself in a horrible scenario between nightmare and reality.
With Thomas Clemens, Cordula Zielonka, Anne Weinknecht, Valentin Schreyer
Director: Thomas Marschall (Austria 2020)
“Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel”, Martha and Alex should have taken this advice from Jim Morrison to heart – but on their drive through an idyllic landscape they are primarily preoccupied with themselves. Only when real life in the form of a dog and its grim owner breaks into their small, self-absorbed world do things get going – more than the two of them would like. A dark road movie full of juicy surprises.
With Anna Mendelssohn, Joep van der Geest, Lynne Rey, Anat Stainberg
THE MONSTER AND THE ARTIST
Director: Thibaut Bertrand (France 2019, Documentary)
It is said that somewhere in the bowels of the La Défense district a monster slumbers, forgotten by all. It is located in a secluded room in the basement of a building in the area’s financial district. This gigantic creature is said to be the masterpiece of Raymond Moretti, an artist from Nice. It is said that the painter sacrificed everything for this work of art. This documentary deals with the story of an artist and his sacred work.
Directors: Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Gaukur Úlfarsson (Iceland 2019)
The film focuses on Hulda, who is suspected of being responsible for the death of her brother Steindi and is in police custody. After being released from custody due to insufficient evidence, she doesn’t know where to go. She waits in the cold until she sees an elderly man being beaten up by two guys in an alley. She comes to his aid. The man turns out to be Hjörtur, a 1000-year-old, single, homosexual vampire. A friendship develops between the two of them and in gratitude for Hulda’s help, Hjörtur brings her brother back to life – but with terrible consequences.
With Hjörtur Sævar Steinason, Jens Jensson, Hulda Lind Kristinsdóttir
ZEIT DER MONSTER / TIME OF MONSTERS
Director: Tor Iben (Germany 2020)
For Amanda von Hohenstüt, time seems to have stood still. For many years the drag queen has been running the local bar “Why not?”. Then one day Justine de Brest appears in the city and a fierce competition begins between the two. Amanda is drawn deeper and deeper into the political turmoil of the times.
With Wolfgang Reeb, Nina Queer, Fu Ciang Yang, Sascha Weingarten
Director: Ludwig Wüst (Austria 2020)
The two friends Martin and Anthony meet up again after 15 years. They talk about shared memories and their present lives. During their encounter they come across a traumatic experience from Martin’s childhood.
With Andrew Brown, Markus Schramm, Roswitha Soukup
AUFBRUCH / DEPARTURE
Director: Ludwig Wüst (Austria 2018)
Two oppressed souls meet by chance, somewhere in the flat countryside. A man and a woman, both no longer young and both confronted with a great disappointment. They understand each other, even without many words, and give each other support on a common part of their lives. Cinema has already taken various directions to tell of despair, pain, sadness and loneliness. This film goes its own way.
With Claudia Martini, Ludwig Wüst
DAS HAUS MEINES VATERS / MY FATHER‘S HOUSE
Regie: Ludwig Wüst (Österreich 2013)
Andrej lives in Frankfurt. A phone call brings him back to the place of his childhood, to his father's house. Filmed with a hand camera in an almost continuous shot, the visit becomes a search for clues with an uncertain objective. The past is conveyed through the dialogue with a former school friend, but even more through the in-between – gestures and pauses in conversation. An exercise in immediacy, grippingly unagitated.
With Nenad Smigoc, Martina Spitzer