The 54th Hof International Film Festival 2020 will open its doors for national and international cinema on 20 October 2020. With a great variety of fascinating topics, exciting stories and intense emotions, this somewhat different edition of the festival, due to current circumstances, can also tie in with the great years of the past. Furthermore, festival films online on HoF On Demand can create additional reach.
Strong women are the focus of this year’s festival. We are pleased to present various works by, about and with impressive female personalities – full of fighting spirit against injustice, full of passion for the individual balance between family and career, and the always exciting personal search for identity.
It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to an icon of feminism, the recently deceased singer Helen Reddy, who wrote a hymn to female self-determination with her song I Am Woman, and thus had a decisive influence not only on the women’s movement of the 1970s. Her gripping life story is told in Unjoo Moon’s film of the same title, which will celebrate its German premiere at the festival. Helen Reddy is played by the breathtaking newcomer Tilda Cobham-Hervey.
We would like to present the following outlook on national and international films about, from and with strong women:
Director: Anna Maria Roznowska (Germany 2020)
Sascha roams through Berlin day and night and drinks excessively. She simply wants to forget everything: Her past, her ex, her life. She would love to just drop dead. But then she meets Alex, with whom she shares the same philosophy of life and refusal to participate in the “circus” of the world. What begins as a fast-paced game ends in a trip of self-hate and despair.
With Romina Küper, Michael Thomas, Helena Zengel, Benjamin Lutzke
FORCE OF HABIT
Directors: Miia Tervo, Elli Toivoniemi, Kirsikka Saari, Reetta Aalto, Alli Haapasalo, Jenni Toivoniemi, Anna Paavilainen (Finland 2020)
The film follows the lives of various women for one day. Hilla has a romantic vacation, Emmi throws a party at home, Milja is on her way to school when a stranger approaches her and things take an unexpected turn. The young actress Emppu gets into a conflict as she rehearses for the biggest role of her life. Elsewhere, Aleksi, an inexperienced public prosecutor, is preparing in great haste for his first trial. Niina, the victim of the crime, on the other hand, has been waiting years for her case to be heard. Miia organizes a company party and the mood changes dramatically when her colleague Katja tells her that their boss is hitting on her. Miia and some of her closest colleagues try to solve the situation, but how will the others react?
Director: Angeliki Antoniou (Greece 2020)
Anna has lost her memory, but she hasn’t forgotten how to cook. She finds work in a tavern by the sea, which belongs to a lonely man, Roula. Even Anna’s simplest meal becomes a delicious experience. The story takes an unexpected turn when Roula suddenly stumbles across the “Green Sea” and discovers Anna’s true identity.
With Angeliki Papoulia, Yannis Tsortekis, Tasos Palatzidis, Christos Kontogeorgis
Director: Eylem Kaftan (Turkey 2019)
Ayse returns to her hometown in northeastern Turkey to take care of her seriously ill mother. Before her death, Ayse’s mother leaves her beloved swarms of bees to her. Working together with the local beekeeper soon causes problems, and even a bear becomes a danger to her bees and her life. Can Ayse overcome her fear of bees and the even greater fear of the predatory bear?
With Meryem Uzerli
Director: Farha Khatun (India 2020, Documentary)
Safia, a deeply religious Muslim woman from Bhopal in central India, is driven by her conviction that Sharia law denies Muslim women equality and justice in society. She participates in a program that trains women as kadi, which is traditionally a male domain. Safia enters a territory previously unknown to women.
With Monica Gagliano, Roland Griffiths, Matthieu Ricard, Christof Koch
I AM WOMAN
Director: Unjoo Moon (Australia 2019)
With I AM WOMAN, the story of singer Helen Reddy is brought to the big screen for the first time. Her self-written song I Am Woman became the anthem of the women’s movement in the 70s.
With Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Evan Peters, Danielle Macdonald, Matty Cardarople
Director: Fernanda Valadez (Mexico, Spain 2020)
Magdalena sets out in search of her son, who has disappeared on the way to the US border. While traveling through desolate Mexico, she meets Miguel, a young man who was deported from the USA and is on his way home. Together they move on through an area where one meets both victims and perpetrators.
With Mercedes Hernández, David Illescas, Juan Jesús Varela, Rodríguez Ana Laura
Director: Emily Atef (Germany 2020)
Maren has good reasons to keep the 600,000 euros she finds in a car. They belong to Henning, who will stop at nothing to get the money back. A fierce fight at eye level begins. JACKPOT tells a story of ambition and how to break on it.
With Rosalie Thomass, Thomas Loibl, Friedrich Mücke, Artemis Chalkidou
Director: Stéphanie Gillard (France 2020, Documentary)
Over the years, the women’s soccer team Olympique Lyon has established itself as one of the best soccer teams in the world. The film is an invitation to see the place of women in professional sport in a new light, namely as a world where mutual respect and openness are the foundations of the road to equality.
Director: Bastien Genoux (Switzerland 2020, Documentary)
The sensitive film portrait of Trixie, an extraordinary woman who shares her experiences as a dancer and choreographer. Her experiences bear witness to a life full of fascination for the great dance icons, like herself and her contemporaries. With her voice and her body, she draws a picture of her impressive career and deals with the intimate question of her relationship to physical aging.
With Beatrice Cordua