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Abaton Rocks
by Marinell Haegelin

Between Friday September 28th and Friday October 5th, the Abaton cinema hosted fifty- (of seventy-seven) Industry Screenings, as well as fifteen public screenings for the Michael Kinder (children) und Jugend (adolescents) film festival. Good organization, the staffs’ friendly manner, films starting punctually, attention to patrons’ needs, and fortifying nourishment from Ignazio’s concession stand, especially Andrea Bonanno’s homemade delicacies, all contribute to the professionalism that Abaton exuded throughout Filmfestival Hamburg’s tenure. And for which we were all grateful.

Industry venues switched (upstairs or downstairs), and although the films showing in a particular theater were posted daily beside the door, I often dashed in having had to negotiate public transportation obstacles. Referring to the printed industry program we received with our accreditation packets, I would have missed or been late more than once had not Hanas, Robert, or Tobias helpfully pointed me to the correct theater.

Abaton offered the additional luxury of being able to buy tickets at Abaton to all festival films showing at the many theaters. Their work did not end with the daily industry screenings, as every night there were also public screenings. The Last Projectionist is a British documentary that pays homage to independent cinemas, highlighting the personnel’s camaraderie and love for the job that oozes over into the ambience that permeates these small cinemas. Which is alive, well, and inviting at Abaton the yearlong.