BERLIN — The curtain went up on the 15th Hamburg Film Festival Sept. 27 with a 140-pic program focusing on the port city’s history as one of Europe’s most important points of departure for 19th and 20th century emigrants.
“Gateway to a Thousand Worlds” is the motto of this year’s festival, which coincides with the opening of a major museum and exhibition center BallinStadt Emigration World Hamburg that does not try to hide the fact that many emigrants were treated poorly on their way out of Europe by Germany’s second city.
The section “Focus Migration — Films out of Suitcases” will include pics that focus on the personal stories of the migration.
Eight-day fest also presents debut films of young German and international filmmakers. The fest — with feature films, documentaries and children’s films on tap — presented the Douglas Sirk award, named after Hamburg’s most prestigious film emigrant Detlef Sierck, to David Cronenberg on Sept. 28. Sirk was born in Hamburg to Danish parents and was a well-known filmmaker in Germany before leaving to France and then Hollywood in 1937.