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Film Festival Cologne

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Film Festival Cologne
LocationCologne, Germany
Founded1991 (as Cologne Conference)
Festival dateOctober 17–24, 2024
LanguageEnglish (and other languages as applicable)

The Film Festival Cologne (formerly called the Cologne Conference from 1991 to 2016[1]) is an international Film and Television Festival that takes place annually in Cologne, Germany. With about 30.000 visitors, the Film Festival Cologne is considered the best attended festival of its kind worldwide. Screenings of independent films as well as debates on media politics and media aesthetic complement the event.[2] The 34th edition of the festival will be held in 2024 from October 17 to 24.


The Cologne Conference was founded in 1991 by journalist and media researcher Lutz Hachmeister while he was the head of the Adolf-Grimme-Institut. In addition to the Grimme-Preis, a national award, an international television festival was originated.

The TV festival was part of German media convention media forum nrw; but it soon developed a momentum of its own[3] and an international reputation. In 1993, the competitive festival section "TopTen" was established, which was, in 2001, divided into two sections, one section for fictional TV and one for documentary TV. In 2007, these two categories were recombined to one category, the "TopTen" section. In the same year, the second competitive festival section "Look", which presents visually extraordinary film and television productions, was created. In 2009, the competitive festival section "Kino" has also become a part of the Cologne Conference. The "Kino" section offers the most interesting aspects concerning film. The presentations and discussions within the Cologne Conference "Lectures" examine the relevant developments on the media market. Beyond that, a workshop discussion with the winner of the "Film Award Cologne" has become an inherent part of the "Lectures" since 2007. Furthermore, there are retrospectives and revivals of legendary television programmes, such as The Monkees, Twin Peaks or The Prisoner.

Programme and Guests[edit]

One of the first TV productions presented at the Cologne Conference was David Lynch's mystery series Twin Peaks. Later almost all groundbreaking US TV series had their German premiere at the Cologne Conference, e.g. Emergency Room, Sex and the City or 24. Also British television always enjoyed strong presence, for instance with Cracker, The Office or Prime Suspect.

Besides German film and television stars, international celebrities such as Academy Award winners Paul Haggis,[4] Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and Michael Radford, Anton Corbijn, Nicolas Roeg, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Mika Kaurismäki, Ole Bornedal, David Lynch, Todd Haynes, Paul Abbott, Tarsem Singh, Jane Campion, Nicolas Winding Refn or Steve McQueen presented themselves in Cologne.

Competition and awards[edit]

From roughly 800 international submissions, a jury selects the programmes for the festival sections "Best of Cinema Fiction, "Best of Cinema Documentary", "Look" and "TopTen TV". Since 1997, the Cologne Conference awards prizes in different categories. The TV Spielfilm Award, donated by the identically named TV program magazine, is given to the best contribution of the three festival sections. Furthermore, the German Casting Award goes to the best German casting agent and The Hollywood Reporter Award, sponsored by The Nielsen Company, goes to young and aspiring individuals in the media sector. Until 2007, the award for the best screenplay, sponsored by Network Movie, was also bestowed. Amongst others, it was given to Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck in 2006, who won the Oscar for The Lives of Others in 2007.

In 2007 the main award of the Cologne Conference, the "Film Award Cologne", was originated. This award honors outstanding creativity in film and TV and is worth EUR 25.000. It is bestowed upon those individuals, who best contribute "to the further development of the language of film and media". The award is presented by the Cologne Conference, along with the City of Cologne and States Film Subsidy Body "Filmstiftung NRW". The first laureate of the "Film Award Cologne" in 2007 was Canadian film director and writer Paul Haggis (LA Crash, Casino Royale) and in 2008, the award was given to the brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (L'Enfant, Lorna's Silence). In 2009, the award was bestowed upon Roman Polanski (Chinatown, The Pianist) but the Polish/French movie director was not able to receive the prize on 3 October in Cologne since he was arrested on 26 September during his journey to the Zurich Film Festival, which caused a worldwide sensation. In 2010 David Lynch was presented with the "Film Award Cologne" for his groundbreaking work in television and cinema. David Simon received the TV Spielfilm Award for his critically acclaimed series Treme. Todd Haynes was awarded the TV Spielfilm Award in 2011 for his extraordinary re-imagination of Mildred Pierce and the "Film Award Cologne" was presented to Tarsem Singh.

Laureates 2007[edit]

  • Film Award Cologne: Paul Haggis
  • TV Spielfilm Award: Anton Corbijn for the movie Control
  • Writer's Award: Hannah Hollinger for her lifework
  • The Hollywood Reporter Award: Das perfekte Dinner

In 2007, the Cologne Conference was chaired by festival founder Lutz Hachmeister, along with Maybritt Illner, Stefan Aust, Marc Conrad, Michael Schmid-Ospach and Dieter Gorny.

Laureates 2008[edit]

  • Film Award Cologne: Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne[5]
  • TV Spielfilm Award: Abi Morgan and Hettie Macdonald for the BBC movie White Girl
  • German Casting Award: Franziska Aigner-Kuhn for the movie Die Welle
  • The Hollywood Reporter Award: Christian Becker, Rat Pack film production
  • Future TV Award: Sex and Zaziki by Sascha Jenschewski and Alexander Perschel

In 2008, the Cologne Conference was chaired by Lutz Hachmeister, along with, Stefan Aust, Marc Conrad, Michael Schmid-Ospach and Dieter Gorny.

Laureates 2009[edit]

  • Film Award Cologne: Roman Polanski
  • TV Spielfilm Award: Lynda La Plante (Above Suspicion, ITV)
  • The Hollywood Reporter Award: Max Wiedemann and Quirin Berg, Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion
  • Casting Award: Nina Haun

In 2009, the Cologne Conference was chaired by festival founder Lutz Hachmeister, along with Stefan Aust, Marc Conrad, Michael Schmid-Ospach and Dieter Gorny.

Laureates 2010[edit]

Laureates 2011[edit]

Laureates 2012[edit]

Laureates 2013[edit]

Laureates 2014[edit]

Laureates 2015[edit]

Laureates 2016[edit]

Laureates 2017[edit]

Laureates 2018[edit]

Laureates 2019[edit]

Laureates 2020[edit]

Laureates 2021[edit]

Laureates 2022[edit]

  • Film Award Cologne: Michel Hazanavicius
  • NRW Film Award: A Room of My Own by Ioseb Bliadze
  • The Hollywood Reporter Award: Mia Hansen-Løve for her film One Fine Morning
  • International Actors Award: Nina Hoss
  • Phoenix Award: Benedetta Argentieri for her film The Matchmaker
  • Manfred Stelzer Award: Nana Neul for her film Daughters (Töchter)
  • NRW Media Award for developmental policy commitment: The Truth Wins (Reporter ohne Grenzen), Gamechanger Week (Kindernothilfe e. V.) and Nachschlag (Utopia.de)[9]

Laureates 2023[edit]


  1. ^ Meza, Ed (1 October 2020). "Film Festival Cologne Gets Physical With In-Theater Screenings". Variety. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  2. ^ Cologne Conference to focus on best TV content The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Roxborough, 09/21/2007
  3. ^ Cologne Conference moves to fall Ed Meza, Variety, 05/08/2007
  4. ^ "Hochschule Fresenius - Cologne Conference". Archived from the original on 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2010-09-14. Hochschule Fresenius. University of Applied Sciences
  5. ^ [1] Lalibre.de, 08/10/2008
  6. ^ [2] Variety.com, 10/01/2010
  7. ^ [3] Life.com. 10/01/2010
  8. ^ 'Mad Men' alumni get THR Award. Jon Hamm and Elizabeth Moss first actors to win award. By Scott Roxborough. The Hollywood Reporter. 13/09/2010
  9. ^ "NRW-Medienpreis – für entwicklungspolitisches Engagement" (in German). Retrieved 2023-06-22.

External links[edit]