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Filmfest Hamburg pays homage to David Cronenberg

The Douglas-Sirk-Award 2007 goes to David Cronenberg. Filmfest Hamburg presents its renowned annual Douglas-Sirk-Award to personalities who have rendered outstanding services within the film industry. Previous Douglas-Sirk-Award winners include Isabelle Huppert, Jodie Foster, Wong Kar-wai and François Ozon.

Director of Filmfest Hamburg, Albert Wiederspiel: “The wealth of cinema also includes the extreme. With David Cronenberg, we are showing our appreciation for a filmmaker who makes consequently transgressional, irrational and disturbing films. Sometimes cheered, sometimes ripped apart by both audience and critics, he provokes a healthy polemic that becomes the art of cinema – as indeed it does all arts – very well.”

David Cronenberg, born in Toronto in 1943, is one of the most uncompromising filmmakers of our times. His current film, ‘Eastern Promises’, will be released in German cinemas on 27th December 2007, distributed by Tobis Film, and will celebrate its German premiere on 28th September within the framework of Filmfest Hamburg.

Cronenberg revolutionized the horror genre in the 1970s with films such as ‘Shivers’ (1975), ‘Rabid’ (1977), ‘The Brood’ (1979) and ‘Scanners’ (1981), creating the disturbing and bizarre worlds of physical and psychic horror that became his trademark. The topics of sex, brutality and somatics, mutation and transformation dominate his work to this day, as does the question of constructed reality. In 1986 Cronenberg became famous with his remake of the horror film classic ‘The Fly’, which was met with extraordinary praise by both critics and audience and won several awards.

The much disputed film ‘Naked Lunch’ (1991) irrevocably cemented the master of abysmal terrors’ status as an exceptional director. In 1996 he was awarded the Special Prize of the Jury in Cannes for his film ‘Crash’. In his more recent films, the mysterious psychological drama ‘Spider’ (2002) and his dramatic thriller ‘A History of Violence’ (2005), Cronenberg appeared in a new light: more psychological, more linear in his picture language, less surreal - without, however, losing his particular artistic character. In his latest film, ‘Eastern Promises’, a midwife (Naomi Watts) comes into conflict with the London underworld. During her research on the identity of a deceased young mother, she finds evidence that could be incriminating against the Russian mafia. This attracts the attention of the good-looking yet mysterious Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen), who begins to follow her like a shadow. After ‘A History of Violence’, Cronenberg once again studies the psyche and fate of a man whose true nature had better never shown its face.
The Douglas-Sirk-Award will be presented on 28th September 2007 at 9.30pm in the cinema CinemaxX 1 (Dammtor), prior to the German premiere of ‘Eastern Promises’ in attendance of David Cronenberg.

The 15th Filmfest Hamburg takes place from 27th September to 4th October 2007 in the cinemas UFA-Palast Grindel, Abaton, CinemaxX Dammtor, Metropolis and 3001.


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