Filmfest Hamburg director Josef Wutz has announced that this year's festival will be his last in charge of the event.

According to German press reports, Wutz, who had served as festival director for the Filmfest since 1995, plans to "take up new challenges" after his current contract runs out on December 31, 2002.

In addition to his duties for Filmfest Hamburg, Wutz has also acted as managing director for the North German producers association Verband der Audiovisuellen Medien in Norddeutschland since January 2000.