About Us

The Hamburg International Queer Film Festival – aka LSF (Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage) is Germany’s oldest and biggest queer film festival which really acts up to its name: with a strong focus on parity, the festival was already queer when Judith Butler was still in the process of writing her groundbreaking “Gender Trouble”. Autonomy, equality, and self determination are, and remain, the leading principles of the LSF.

Germany’s largest and longest-running LGBT film festival regularly welcomes about 15,000 visitors per year. The colourful and comprehensive selection of films includes everything from feature length feel-good movies and documentaries to politically courageous productions and rarely-seen experimental projects – allowing everyone the chance to find something to get excited about.

This year the festival is celebrating 28 years: more than 15.000 films, some 85 festival team members, thousands of volunteers and even more thousands of guests and bags of stories. It is Hamburg's second largest film event and screens yearly over 65 programmes and about 120 films from around the world on seven screens over six days.

The Core Organizing Team for 2017

Roughly 15 people – on a non-salaried basis – work throughout the year to organize the festival, supported at the peak period by a small salaried staff and an army of wonderful volunteers. The team’s aim is to remain independent and to offer a festival that is accessible to the widest audience possible.


photo: Andrea Preysing

#team 2017
From middle top, clockwise: Joachim Post (Feature film programme coordination), Avi Bolotinsky (Hospitality management), Linda Schnath (Festival office management), Hanne Homrighuasen (Press & programme editing), Katja Briesemeister (Short film programme coordination), Sebastian Beyer (Programme editing), Serhad Solin (Special agent), Katharina Kücke (Subtitles), Aileen Pinkert (Press and public relations), Daria Majewski (Press and public relations), Simon Schultz (Festival office management), Michael Dreier (Hospitality management), Alexandra Bialas (Media technology & coordination), Antje Soltau (Fundraising), Gesa Woltjen (Festival office management)
Not in picture: Elisabetta Satta (Hospitality management)

Jury Prize


As ever the festival hosts a jury and a Jury Prize, worth 5.000 €. Eight outstanding feature and documentary films are nominated this year.

This year’s selection for the Jury Prize are: AJEEB AASHIQ/STRANGE LOVE (India, 2016), APRICOT GROVES (Armenia, 2016), BAR BAHAR/IN BETWEEN (Israel, 2016), A MOMENT IN THE REEDS (Finland, 2017), LOS OBJETOS AMOROSOS/THE OBJECTS OF LOVE (Spain 2016), QUEERAMA (UK, 2017), RI CHANG DUI HUA/SMALL TALK (Taiwan, 2016), VEŞARTÎ/HIDDEN (Turkey, 2015).

Our jury members in 2017 are: Nontawat Numbenchapol (Bangkok, Thailand), Esra Özban (Ankara, Turkey) and Robin K. Saalfeld (Jena, Germany).

All other prizes awarded by the Hamburg International Queer Film Festival are audience awards. That means that you, the audience, have a very important task: don't forget to vote! The director of each winning film receives an award and a cash prize of 1000 Euros.

The Audience Awards
  • The URSULA is the prize for the best short film.
    It is awarded in three categories: gender bender (sponsored by Boutique Bizarre), gay (sponsored by Junges Hotel) and lesbian.
  • The GLOBOLA goes to the best feature (sponsored by Hamburg Pride e.V.).
  • The DOKULA is awarded to the best feature-length documentary.
  • MADE IN GERMANY is the competition for German-made shorts. (The prize is a DVD distribution contract with Edition Salzgeber.)
All awards will be announced during the Closing Ceremony.

Our awards were crafted by Jule K. www.julekru.de


supported by
boutique bizarre

boutique bizarre

boutique bizarre



The Hamburg International Queer Film Festival is a partner festival of the Iris Prize, which, at £25,000, is the world’s largest gay and lesbian short film prize.



Festival Photos
galerievorschaubild2010To whet your appetite for the upcoming filmic and social delights, check out the pictures of last year’s festival… and the year before… and the year before that… and…

Have fun looking around!

Support your Queer Film Festival!

  • Know anyone who's a festival fan and a florist?
  • What about someone who's a t-shirt printer and would love to support the community?
  • Do you have contacts to people/businesses/groups who'd be interested in supporting the festival, either financially or with goods and services?

Then get in touch! We need all the help we can get: this year and every year. As a volunteer team, we're only too happy if you can help us out in any way at all.

If everybody asks just one person if they can help out the festival, that's a lot of helping hands!

We're always open to ideas, tips, or offers. Please send them to Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist gegen Spambots geschützt! JavaScript muss aktiviert werden, damit sie angezeigt werden kann. .
And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

By the way: if you'd like to donate a small (or slightly larger?) regular amount, then join the Push-up Club! It's worth it!


The 20th Anniversary Book

This beautiful book celebrates the first 20 years of the Hamburg International Queer Film Festival. Filled with history and photos, this is a must-have for German-speaking fans of the festival and queer cinema in general. Exclusively on sale directly from the film festival for the bargain price of only 10 € plus postage (5.50 € within Germany).

Bildschön. 20 Jahre Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg

More info on how to order here. (in German)





The 25th Anniversary Film

ACTING OUT. 25 Years of Queer Film and Community in Hamburg
Christina Magdalinou, Silvia Torneden, Ana Grillo, Germany 2014, 85', German/English with English subtitles

>>Trailer ACTING OUT

The first 25 years of the festival was captured on film and is available on DVD! Christina Magdalinou and Silvia Torneden spent a short year and a half making the film, supported by Ana Grillo, Monika Treut and many many friends. They filmed, interviewed, gleaned the archives, watched hours of footage and edited reams of material. The resulting documentary entertainingly brings across both the unique atmosphere and 25-year history of the festival, and above all, illuminates the complex mesh that both forms and carries it.


Available from filmmakers or directly from the festival office, Schanzenstr. 45.


Our History
1990, the year the world changed: Gorbachev was elected head of state in the USSR, the WHO decided homosexuality should no longer be classified as an illness, the Berlin Wall was torn down, and Hamburg witnessed the birth of its first Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. A true novelty for German cinemas, here was a festival organised by lesbians and gay men, who set out to counter stereotypical representations of homosexuality in film. Sidelining mainstream productions, the HIQFF featured independent homosexual filmmakers, half-forgotten classics, and a wide array of short films. Cultural events accompanied the programme, and Rosie’s café at the Metropolis offered lots of opportunities for the community to chat with international guests.

“No Chance for Love” – The Beginning
During a students’ strike at Hamburg University in the winter term 1988/89, a small group of students founded the autonomous seminar “Homosexuality in Film”. Their analysis of the "canon of the time" was devastating. Clichés and stereotypes (remember “The Children’s Hour” or “Victim”?) didn’t alllow for a representation of lesbians and gay men living happily. To document and criticise the status quo, the group produced a little satire called “No chance for love” that was modelled on a popular German sex talkshow. The film screened in the Metropolis cinema on the 21st of January 1990 and was such a tremendous success that it was rerun the next night with hundreds attending. Together with theatre director, Heiner Roß, the idea came up to organise a lesbian and gay film programme – the Hamburg International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival was born. The subsequent year over 60 movies from all over the world were submitted, and the URSULA prize brought to life. (URSULA literally means: our loveliest lesbian and gay amateur movie)

It’s a Queer World
In the following years the festival expanded further. Topics such as HIV/AIDS (1990), camp (1997), or religious fundamentalism (2008) were covered, or the representation of homosexuality and transsexuality in certain countries or regions such as Great Britain (1994), Eastern Europe (2001 & 2006) and South Africa (2008). More than 170 international filmmakers have been invited to the festival. Icons of the community, such as Barbara Hammer, Andrea Weiss, Susie (Sexpert) Bright, Janice Perry, Ades Zabel, Gustav-Peter Wöhler, Bruce LaBruce and John Greyson have honoured the festival with their presence, with many offering workshops – another Festival staple. Nathalie Percillier’s 2005 course on filmmaking even resulted in its own film series: Made in Germany.

Nachtbar, TV, Parties – more than just extras
From the beginning, the HIQFF offered more than just cinematic experiences. An autonomous team from within Hamburg’s community annually organises – without financial resources, and exclusively for the festival – the (in)famous Nachtbar. First established when the festival moved to its autumn schedule, this nightly get-together offers drinks, talks with filmmakers, music, dancing and lots of chances for a flirt or more. Each year a new location is chosen – top secret until the opening night – but the Nachtbar’s trademark wild creativity and the "Talk Tresen" ("Talk Bar") with alternating hosts, travel on with the crew.
Also accompanying the festival is community-based media coverage. Between 1996–2001, the public channel featured news, gossip, and interesting images on its “Hello Pretty, Pretty” programme. Ricardo M. reported live from behind the scenes for Tide in the years 2006–2007. Last not least, countless parties have been held for the benefit of the festival – a big and sincere thank you to all involved!

HIQFF today
The non-hierarchical team structure has proven effective over the years. Each team member is responsible for one work area. There are also several subgroups which watch, discuss, and finally select every submitted feature and short film – each year that amounts to over 200 long and 300 short films. Additionally, other lesbian/gay/transgender/queer film festivals are visited on the search for new cinematic jewels. Other important work includes: press and public relations, fundraising, ticketing, editing the programme magazine, and, of course, organising the 6 days of screenings. The core team members all work on a voluntary basis, supported by paid part-time office staff in the critical phase to help with the workload. The festival’s expenses are re-financed through ticket sales, the generous support of our ‘Push-Up Club’-members, and with state money from the City of Hamburg’s department for culture.

Impressum   © 2018 LSF