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To the end of the world with 17th Filmfest Hamburg

The 17th Filmfest Hamburg invites film friends and filmmakers on a cinematic journey to the end of the world from 24th September to 3rd October 2009: welcome to New Zealand - this year's film country in the Deluxe section. Festival Director Albert Wiederspiel is very pleased at "the committed and fruitful cooperation with the Auckland City Council and New Zealand Embassy, enabling Filmfest Hamburg to show six modern cinema classics dating from 1964 to 1987."

Program Director Kathrin Kohlstedde explains: "We intensely explored the treasures of the New Zealand Film Archive before making our choice. We were looking to assemble a series of films that goes beyond such internationally famous works as those of Jane Campion ("The Piano") and Peter Jackson ("The Lord of the Rings 1-3"). Films, that were never released in Germany and that will take our audience on an exploratory voyage of New Zealand."

Julie Hill, Goethe-Institut stipendiary and New Zealand journalist and filmmaker, will act as a guide to the cinematic terra incognita at Filmfest Hamburg, which includes such filmic gems as "Runaway" by John O'Shea (1964), "Off The Edge" by Michael Firth (1977), "Angel Mine" by David Blyth (1978), "Carry Me Back" by John Reid (1982), "Patu!" by Merata Mita (1983) and "Ngati" by Barry Barclay (1987).

The films range from a dramatic character study of a bored young rebel on the run, to a nerve racking documentary about two adrenaline junkies, featuring breathtaking nature panoramas, an experimental fantasy thriller about a couple struggling for their relationship and for their lives, to a comedy about football and an inheritance conflict full of sturdy New Zealand humour and a political manifesto about a nation at the crossroads. 

A further highlight in the Deluxe program is the selection of short films "The Experimental Archive - Adventures in New Zealand Filmmaking 1933 to 2007" by Mark Williams, supported by Goethe-Institut New Zealand. Curator Williams presents experimental films from more than 70 years of New Zealand film art, demonstrating artistic examinations of the own identity by artists from New Zealand.

In 2009 Filmfest Hamburg presents the following sections: Agenda 09, Northern Lights, Vitrina, Voilà!, Made-for-TV Movies, eurovisuell and New Zealand Deluxe.

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