Well organized till the early hours
From the outside, the 2004 was seen as a solid year. The professionalism and competence of the public face of the festival – which was shifting more and more to the lounges and after-hour parties - received praise, even if, for some, the buzz of previous years was lacking.
The unexpected absence of Nicole Kidman and Jude Law from the opening premiere of their film Cold Mountain provided something to talk about for a day – after that it was all about the films themselves: strong entries from young filmmakers like Richard Linklater, Kim Ki-Duk, Fatih Akin, Daniel Burman and Cédric Kahn, and controversial contributions by old hands such as Theo Angelopoulos, Eric Rohmer and Ken Loach, whom many felt deserved the a Bear for his film Ae Fond Kiss.
A topic of discussion was “the cinema of emotions”, the promising showing by German directors and the strong debut of 14plus, a selection of films within the Kinderfilmfest, which was aimed at youths and adolescents. Thomas Hailer had taken over as director the Kinderfilmfest in the autumn and had brought to fruition something that had been already in discussion: an appropriate response to the differentiated age structure of the Kinderfilmfest audience.