Cinema diversity & a great atmosphere – That was the 55th Hof International Hof Film Festival 2021

The virtual award ceremony of the first Short Film Audience Award of the City of Hof for AYSHA by Cengiz Akaygün on Tuesday 9 November 2021 was the glamorous conclusion of the 55th anniversary of the Hof International Film Festival as a hybrid model. This year there was, once again, cinema for everyone. From 26-31 October 2021, 67 feature films as well as 51 short films celebrated their premieres in the cinemas on site. Almost all films were then available on demand throughout Germany at the plus7streamingdays festival until 7 November 2021.

"Almost two weeks of pure cinematic diversity at the 55th Hof International Film Festival have come to an end. There were many emotional encounters, still at a distance but with the best mood. The enormous efforts and trust of all those involved in making the festival possible, and for which I thank them from the bottom of my heart, have been more than rewarding. We must not lose sight of the fact that there is still a long way to go to regain the trust of the audience. The Hof International Film Festival was the right push for all of us to continue swirling now more than ever for this wonderful place – the cinema!"

Thorsten Schaumann, Artistic Director

Focus Cinema

Many established and up-and-coming filmmakers exchanged ideas with the audience at their screenings, creating a great festival feeling. A special screening of Andreas Arnstedt's SCHATTENKIND for students was aimed at the cinema audience of tomorrow. Matthias Ditscherlein's cinema bus in Hof's old town expanded the cinema space. And the public LIQUID STAGING PROJECT ELECTRA '21 by Asteris Kutulas provided a preview of a cinema format of the future. For the festival’s 55th birthday, a look back can't be missing either. This year's Retrospective was a tribute to actor Joachim Król, who personally presented ten works from his past oeuvre. At the new series |8|16|35| HoF Classics on Film, five festival films were shown in analog form, films which went on to conquer the world from Hof. This again created unique moments that only (!) exist in the cinema and in HoF, at the Home of Films.

Hybrid Festival

It is essential for the festival to offer creative solutions for constantly changing conditions. Thus, in addition to the slightly more than 10,000 film fans in the cinemas in Hof, there were also about 9,000 views on the HoF on Demand platform created by Rushlake Media. The numbers in the cinema more than doubled in absolute terms compared to last year, whereas the number of online views declined as expected with the expanded access options in the cinema.

Furthermore, the number of accredited trade visitors was on a very high level with more than 650 visitors. The AG Filmfestival, for example, met in Hof, and Pandora Filmverleih celebrated its founding at the festival 40 years ago. This clearly proves that the audience prefers the cinema and appreciates Hof as a meeting place for the industry.

Streaming Channel with HoF PLUS

In order to be the best possible communication platform for filmmakers, as an incentive and to share in the festival feeling, the Hof International Film Festival was the first festival to launch its own streaming channel back in 2020. This year, for the first time, content related to the festival was shown every day for eleven hours via the HoF channel during the festival. For more than seven hours per day, the festival produced its own formats for this purpose, many of them streamed live. In total, more than 100 filmmakers were interviewed.

Within the HoF PLUS program, the kick-off was at 10:00 a.m. with the new format Breakfast Club - the Breakfast Talk. After that there were club talks with filmmakers, panels, film trailers, and the established live late-night talk show GASTHoF starting at 11:00 pm on nine consecutive evenings. A highlight was also the Saturday soccer match of the filmmakers of the FC Hofer Filmtage against the team of the Hofer Filmwelt as a commented live broadcast. The speed pitch "7 minutes" again offered six newcomers the opportunity to present their projects to industry experts. And for the first time, there were master classes for everyone, where Asteris Kutulas and the eternal savage of American cinema Abel Ferrara gave insights into their work.


The award ceremonies always provide great moments. With a total of nine prizes, three new awards were also presented. In addition to the highly endowed Hof Gold Prize of the Friedrich Baur Foundation, the German Cinema New Talent Award, the Award of the City of Hof, the Hans Vogt Award, the Bild-Kunst Award, the GRANIT - Hof Documentary Award, the Jury and Audience Short Film Awards of the City of Hof, and the Hof Critics Award brought three film projects more into the spotlight.


  • Total duration 13 days (six days of physical screenings and plus7streamdays with almost all films on demand)
  • on average 10,000 visitors in six days
  • Seat capacity below 50% (with a pandemic-related capacity of approx. 60% compared to the possible seating capacity of previous years)
  • stable number of premieres as in previous years
  • Films available online with Q&As from their theatrical premiere onwards
  • awarding of nine prizes including three new prizes (Jury and Audience Awards of the City of Hof, Hof Critics Award) with a total value of 68,500 euros
  • About 9,000 film views on HoF On Demand
  • Retrospective tribute Joachim Król
  • |8|16|35| HoF Classics on Film as a new program series
  • HoF PLUS supporting program: 14 public events in five days, Specials: Master classes with Asteris Kutulas and Abel Ferrara, School screening of Andreas Arnstedt's SCHATTENKIND, Matthias Ditschlerlein’s cinema bus with short film screenings in the old town of Hof, Interviews were conducted with about 100 filmmakers
  • World premiere: Asteris Kutula's LIQUID STAGING PROJECT ELECTRA '21 with the music of Mikis Theodorakis at the Haus der Musik in Hof
  • HoF streaming channel: 11 hours per festival day streamed live, 7 hours per festival day of own content produced around the festival, 2,800 replays via the HoF YouTube channel, almost 40,000 visits to the streaming channel and the festival website
  • Information about the films and the festival here,
  • All recorded livestreams on the festival YouTube channel.

We look back on a successful and inspiring festival 2021 and look forward to seeing you again in 2022 in Hof!

Best regards
Thorsten Schaumann & Ana Radica & the team of the Hof International Film Festival

Published on: 2021 November 11