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Successful conclusion of the anniversary edition – the 70th IFFMH

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Successful conclusion of the anniversary edition – the 70th IFFMH celebrates the return to the cinema with many international guests



 


Guests from Brazil, the Philippines, the USA, Turkey, Spain, Romania, Japan, Georgia, Italy, France and many other countries did not miss out on the in-person experience of the 70th edition of the International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg (IFFMH). They included guests of honor such as Claude Lelouch, whose latest film celebrated its international premiere as the closing film of the festival. With a warm applause for the festival team, the 2021 Festival concluded during parallel events held at the Stadthaus in Mannheim and the Luxor Filmpalast in Heidelberg. After 11 eventful festival days and more than 200 screenings in 8 cinemas, the festival and its sponsors look back at the edition.

 
 
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                                                                                                          Stadthaus Mannheim © Moritz Staudte

"In his second year as festival director, Sascha Keilholz demonstrates his success in striking a balance between the young avant-garde of international film art and linking back with the festival's tradition. I am particularly happy that he was able to let the festival rediscover the cinema space. Film culture needs cinemas as places of shared cultural experience and exchange. The state of Baden-Württemberg is also concerned with being a location for film, with promoting cinemas and film culture – during the Corona crisis and, of course, far beyond," says Minister of the Arts Theresia Bauer.

The mayors of the two host cities shared her sentiment: "We experienced a brilliant presentation of highlights of cinematic art. It comprised both a look back at the past of this German film festival, and an impressive, almost visionary outlook into the future of cinema," said Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner from Heidelberg. Dr. Peter Kurz from Mannheim added: "The IFFMH cleverly celebrates ambitious cinema and does not forget its circumstances and history, as we already witnessed in 2020 under the new direction of Sascha Keilholz and his team. The films invited us to look, to differentiate, to understand – they convinced us through their quality and humane perspectives. And they often dealt with questions that are particularly pressing for us today.” 

Among the many emotional highlights were the presentation of the first GRAND IFFMH AWARD to Guillaume Nicloux and the tributes to the two Homage guests Bettina Brokemper and Claude Lelouch. 

More than 100 international guests traveled to Mannheim and Heidelberg to present their films to captivated audiences. The filmmakers were grateful for the opportunity to meet in person – among themselves and with the audience. They also explored the diverse cinema landscapes of both cities and enjoyed the FACING NEW CHALLENGES exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Mannheim and the Heidelberger Kunstverein. 

Despite the difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic, the expanded program of the Children's Film Festival was very well received, especially the sold-out reading hour with Ingo Siegner and his 'The Little Dragon Coconut', as well as the storytelling hour with Mehrdad Zaeri.

Two anniversary sections contributed to the diversity of this year's edition: in the Festival Spotlight, festivals from Jerusalem, Ouagadougou, Sitges, Berlin and Montréal presented exemplary highlights of their current program with one film each. The FILM EXPERIENCE 2021 showed a kaleidoscope of the year’s film highlights. 

The extensive online offer IFFMH STREAM gave access to a selection of more than 60 films from all sections of the program, which in total comprised 90 titles from 53 countries. 

IFFMH Stream attracted more than 6,000 viewers, while 12,600 viewers attended the screenings on offer at the cinemas and partner venues, which corresponds to more than 18,600 viewers in total. Almost 300 among them took advantage of the popular festival passes. More than 400 professional visitors were accredited for the IFFMH. 

"This brings to a close a festival that challenged minds and also one’s stamina, while providing encounters among the artists, audience and team, which made for an enriching and all the more important experience in the current moment. We are already looking forward to next year and hope that the circumstances will have improved considerably, so that we may take even greater advantage of the audience potential of the IFFMH,” sums up festival director Sascha Keilholz.

Save the date: The 71st International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg will take place from November 17 to 27, 2022.

    

 

 
 

 

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