Happy and grateful

We look back with you on the 71st IFFMH

We look back on the 71st International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg with joy, a little pride and above all gratitude. Cinema halls full of you and numerous international guests have ensured a great atmosphere.

Last Sunday, 27 November, we celebrated the successful conclusion of the IFFMH 2022. As part of our official Closing Night, we showed the German premiere of Susanna Nicchiarelli's 'Chiara' in Mannheim and Heidelberg. It is a historical drama about Clare of Assisi that plays with musical elements. The leading actress Margherita Mazzucco, who was awarded Best Young Actress for her role at the Venice Film Festival, was at the cinema to talk to you. In addition, the writer Emine Sevgi Özdamar, who was awarded the Schiller Prize of the City of Mannheim shortly before and the Georg Büchner Prize this year, came to the screening of our graduation film.

Before the screening, our festival director Dr. Sascha Keilholz thanked the entire team and called them on stage by name. He and our entire crew thanked the assembled audience for many sold-out and well-attended screenings, the lively participation in the extensive supporting programme and the overall lively interest in the festival. And this thanks was, of course, for all of you. You made the 71st International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg what it was: an enriching experience and a great event. Your great encouragement and positive feedback during the festival make us happy and also a little bit proud. We are especially happy that so many of you came to the cinemas to see our films and talk to our guests.

65 films from 41 countries were presented in our 71st edition - including films from countries like Costa Rica, Ukraine, Malaysia, Croatia and Pakistan, which otherwise rarely find their way into German cinemas. You could experience 30 of these films as German premieres. Our partner cinemas this year were Atlantis, Cinema Quadrat and Cinemaxx in Mannheim and Gloria, the new Karlstorkino in Südstadt and Luxor Filmpalast in Heidelberg. With a total of 400 accreditations, more than a hundred international guests from the film teams came to talk to you in the cinemas. Stars like Gaspar Noé, Albert Serra, Dominik Moll, Anamaria Marinca and - at the National Theatre Mannheim - Aenne Schwarz were there.

Beyond the film programme, there was also a whole series of highlights to experience at the 71st IFFMH. We look back with great satisfaction in particular on the presentation of the Grand IFFMH Award to French director Alice Winocour and the tribute to cinematographer Benoît Debie. Many of you took the opportunity to attend the exciting, stimulating and freely accessible work talks with the honourees, gaining deep insights into their work and careers. Another highlight of the eleven festival days was the live voguing showcase by the queer Mannheim ballroom group "Grace the Floor". Here you transformed the cinema into a club with your exuberant mood. There was also a wonderful atmosphere at the live concert that we organised together with the Kunsthalle Mannheim in their rooms. For the first time this year, we also organised panel discussions with international experts on cinematic and socio-political topics. Many of you also attended these discussions on diversity in cinema, the relationship between film and fashion and the situation of filmmakers in authoritarian regimes.

The IFFMH's streaming service, IFFMH Stream, also continues to meet with your approval: a good 2700 of you took advantage of the opportunity to watch 21 selected films from this year's programme from your sofa at home. With a reduced selection compared to last year, the average number of streams of our films remained about the same. On location, however, thanks to you, the number of visitors per event in the cinemas doubled compared to last year. We counted 21,543 viewers in the cinemas and our partner institutions. In total, we were able to record 24,215 visits to the festival.

Festival director Dr. Sascha Keilholz is extremely pleased with this development: "What we experienced during the eleven festival days far exceeded our positive expectations. The comprehensive success of the festival is not only a nice confirmation of our work, but at the same time also an expression of a general interest in film and cinema among the people in the metropolitan region. Our decision to hold the festival in the cinemas was emphatically confirmed. The institution of cinema is alive and well and is accepted by our audience. And so we are already looking forward with great confidence to the upcoming 72nd edition of the IFFMH."

Save the date: The 72nd International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg will take place from 16 to 26 November 2023.

The festival thanks its sponsors and partners.