Film Festival Cologne

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The Film Festival Cologne (formerly: Cologne Conference) is an international film and television festival in Cologne . With around 20,000 visitors, it is considered the most popular TV festival in the world. The event will be complemented by the presentation of independent cinema films and debates on media policy and aesthetics.


The Film Festival Cologne (at that time still Cologne Conference, CoCo for short) was founded in 1991 by the publicist and media researcher Lutz Hachmeister when he was head of the Adolf Grimme Institute in Marl. In addition to the nationally oriented Grimme Prize , according to the concept, an international television festival should be organized. Hachmeister formulated that the CoCo sees itself as a “festival for the new film and television language, as a Bauhaus for the context of the media without denying the intrinsic value of the respective media and event locations”.

The TV festival was integrated into and financed by the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia and the State Broadcasting Corporation (today: State Authority for Media North Rhine-Westphalia ), but quickly developed its own momentum and international reputation. In 1993 the competition series "Top Ten of International Television" was established, which from 2001 was expanded to two series, one for fictional and one for documentary television. In 2007, the two categories were again combined to form a common “Top Ten”. Since then, the second competitive segment has been the “Look” series, which focuses specifically on productions that stand out due to their unusual audiovisual aesthetics. Since 2009, the “Kino” competition series has also been part of the film and television festival, which shows the most interesting things from the independent cinema landscape. The “Spectrum Young Film” festival series for young talent was also running until 2006, organized in cooperation with the North Rhine-Westphalia Film Foundation and the ZDF editorial team, Das kleine Fernsehspiel. The "Lectures" series of events is dedicated to current developments in the media industry in lectures and discussions. Since 2007, a workshop discussion with the winner of the “Cologne Film Prize” has been an integral part of the “Lectures”. Since 2011, all the other award winners have been available to answer questions personally at the workshop talks. There are also retrospectives and re-performances of “cult programs” such as The Monkees , Number 6 , Das Millionenspiel , Twin Peaks or Kir Royal .


In 2005 the British animation series Popetown was shown at the CoCo , around which a heated debate about blasphemy and blasphemy broke out later in Germany. In 2006, the Spiegel Group took over the title patronage for the event, following the example of the Media Guardian Television Festival Edinburgh, where the British Guardian is involved. Spiegel editor-in-chief Stefan Aust and Lutz Hachmeister took over the presidency of the event. The WDR took the "Spiegel TV and Film Festival Cologne" logo as an opportunity not to take part in the event, as "Spiegel TV" was viewed as a commercial competitor. In addition, there were reports in the press about a possible spin-off of the Cologne Conference from and speculation about the festival's move to Berlin. In 2007, the Cologne Conference took place for the first time independently of and thus moved closer to the German TV Prize. The then State Media Secretary of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Andreas Krautscheid , said in 2007 that it was “extremely gratifying and important for the media location North Rhine-Westphalia and the city of Cologne that this event - now in autumn - can take place again. I think the time separation from makes sense and I hope that this positioning will do both events well. ”Since then, Cologne Conference GmbH has been funded by the City of Cologne and the Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

On June 23, 2016, the organizers of the Cologne Conference announced that the festival would run under the name "Film Festival Cologne" in future. According to festival founder and president Lutz Hachmeister, the name change was necessary: ​​“It is not easy to change a logo that is well established in the industry. But abroad and also among the people of Cologne themselves, the Cologne Conference has too often been associated with a scientific congress. "

Programs and guests

One of the first television series shown at the Film Festival Cologne (at that time still Cologne Conference) was David Lynch's mystery production Twin Peaks . Later, almost all of the pioneering US television series had their German premiere at the CoCo: such as Emergency Room , Sex and the City or 24 . British television was always well represented, for example with Cracker ( Fitz for all cases ), The Office , Prime Suspect , The Shadow Line and Broadchurch . The BBC has been one of the festival's sponsors for years. The German premieres included the WDR productions Todesspiel (Director: Heinrich Breloer ), Die Meute (Director: Herlinde Koelbl), The Bubi-Scholz-Story (Director: Roland Suso Richter ), In the prime of life (Director: Hartmut Schoen ) or Tatort: ​​Franziska (director: Dror Zahavi ). In addition to German directors and actors such as Dominik Graf , Oliver Hirschbiegel , Max Färberböck , Götz George , Bastian Pastewka , Christoph Maria Herbst , Christian Ulmen , Senta Berger and the writer Christian Kracht, there were also international guests such as Nicolas Roeg , DA Pennebaker with Chris Hegedus , Michael Radford , Mika Kaurismäki , Ole Bornedal , David Lynch, Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss , Paul Haggis , Anton Corbijn , Tarsem Singh , Michael Winterbottom , François Ozon , Isabelle Huppert or Harmony Korine will be present in Cologne.

Competition and prizes

A jury selects the programs for the competition series "Top Ten", "Look" and "Kino" from around 800 international submissions. Since 1997 the CoCo has awarded various prizes. The TV feature film prize, endowed with over 10,000 euros , is donated by the TV magazine of the same name and is awarded every year to the best contribution in both series of competitions. There is also a prize for casting achievements and the Hollywood Reporter Award for a young, aspiring personality from the film and television industry. Up until 2007, a prize for the best screenplay , donated by the ZDF subsidiary Network Movie , had been awarded: Among other things, it went to Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck in 2006 for his book on the film The Lives of Others , which later took place in February 2007 , which won the Oscar for best foreign language film. In 2013, the International Actors Award, endowed with 10,000 euros, was presented for the first time for exceptional acting.

The new main award of the Cologne Conference launched in 2007, the “Cologne Film Prize”, is associated with 25,000 euros and is dedicated to “the grammar and poetics of audiovisual media across all works”. The city of Cologne and the Filmstiftung NRW (Düsseldorf) sponsored the award. The first award winner in 2007 was the Canadian film director and writer Paul Haggis ( LA Crash , Casino Royale ), the following year the brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne ( The Child , Lorna's Silence ) were honored. In 2009 the prize went to Roman Polański ( Chinatown , The Pianist ). The Polish-French director was unable to accept the award on October 3rd in Cologne, as planned, as he was arrested on September 26th while traveling to the Zurich Film Festival at Zurich-Kloten airport, which caused a worldwide sensation. In 2010, the director David Lynch accepted the Cologne Film Prize. The TV Feature Film Award went to series creator David Simon for his critically acclaimed Treme series . Tarsem Singh was the winner of the Cologne Film Prize, which was awarded to him at the Cologne Conference 2011. Was also Paul Abbott as winners guest in Cologne. Director Todd Haynes also received the TV Feature Film Award for his award-winning work on the remake of Mildred Pierce . In 2012 the Cologne Film Prize went to the French filmmaker François Ozon . The TV feature film award was given to the screenwriter and director Michael Winterbottom for his feature Trishna . In 2013, the controversial American filmmaker Harmony Korine ( Gummo , Spring Breakers ) accepted the Cologne Film Prize. The grande dame of the French film Isabelle Huppert ( 8 women ) received the International Actors Award. Sibel Kekilli ( Gegen die Wand , Game of Thrones ) received the Hollywood Reporter Award and thanked them with an emotional speech. The documentary filmmaker and director Frauke Finsterwalder and the Swiss author Christian Kracht received the TV Feature Film Award for their joint work on the feature film Finsterworld .

The Phoenix Documentary Film Prize has been awarded at the Film Festival Cologne since 2015 . The Cologne Creative Award , endowed with 10,000 euros, was presented for the first time in 2019 ; The award goes to media professionals who "have made a special contribution to the future of audiovisual storytelling."

2007 award winner

The presidium of the Cologne Conference in 2007 was made up of festival founder Lutz Hachmeister, Maybrit Illner , Stefan Aust , Marc Conrad , Michael Schmid-Ospach and Dieter Gorny .

2008 award winners

The presidium of the Cologne Conference in 2008 was made up of Lutz Hachmeister, Stefan Aust, Marc Conrad, Michael Schmid-Ospach and Dieter Gorny.

Prize winner 2009

As in 2008, Lutz Hachmeister, Stefan Aust, Marc Conrad, Michael Schmid-Ospach and Dieter Gorny formed the presidium of the Cologne Conference 2009.

Award winner 2010

The presidium of the Cologne Conference 2010 is made up of Petra Müller, Marc Conrad, Dieter Gorny and Lutz Hachmeister.

Award winner 2011

Prize winner 2012

Prize winner 2013

2014 award winners

Award winner 2015

Prize winner 2016

Award winner 2017

Prize winners 2018

Prize winners 2019

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Cologne Conference becomes Film Festival Cologne. Retrieved June 23, 2016 .
  2. Cologne Conference press release: New brand: Cologne Conference becomes Film Festival Cologne. Retrieved June 23, 2016 .
  3. a b PHOENIX Documentary Award for Joshua Oppenheimer , accessed on January 31, 2020
  4. Film Festival Cologne Awards as the grand finale , accessed on January 31, 2020
  5. cf.
  6. Cologne Film Prize goes to US film director David Lynch. In: Rheinische Post. September 14, 2010, accessed September 20, 2010 .
  7. Premiere at the Cologne Conference: David Simon presents “Treme”. In: kress. September 2, 2010, accessed March 22, 2011 .
  8. FOX and Sky bring “Mad Men” stars Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss to the Cologne Conference. In: September 13, 2010, accessed March 22, 2011 .
  9. contact person. Cologne Conference GmbH, September 20, 2010, accessed on September 20, 2010 .
  10. Cologne Film Prize for Lars von Trier. In: September 9, 2014, accessed December 29, 2014 .
  11. PHOENIX Documentary Award for Pieter-Jan De Pue , accessed on January 31, 2020
  12. Film Festival Cologne website , accessed on July 7, 2019.