Hans-Christian Schmid, director of last year's box-office and critical success Crazy, was awarded this year's Film Prize of the Town of Hof at the International Hof Film Days (October 24-28) joining past filmmakers including Wim Wenders, Doris Doerrie, Tom Tykwer, Detlev Buck and Werner Herzog, all of whom have a special connection to the festival.

Schmid first came to recognition after his made-for-TV movie It's A Jungle Out There (Nach Fuenf Im Urwald) caused a buzz at the Film Days in 1995 and was then picked up for theatrical release by Senator Film. Schmid's subsequent films have been the computer hacker drama 23 and the bestseller adaptation Crazy last year. He also served as co-author on Michael Gutmann's latest feature Herz Ueber Kopf (originally known as Tamara), which Constantin Film will be releasing early next year and received its world premiere at this year's Hof Film Days.

Meanwhile, Kodak's 18th Eastman Support Prize for Up-and-Coming Talent was awarded to Sven Taddicken for his film Mein Bruder Der Vampir at this year's International Hof Film Days.

The production by teamWorx and Gambit Film- und Fernsehproduktion of the first feature film from the Baden-Wuerttemberg Film Academy graduate was one of the "buzz films" in Hof among the local titles and attracted interest from several distributors including the local outpost of Buena Vista International, Prokino and Delphi Film keen to pick the film up for German release.

Past winners of the Eastman prize since 1984 include Soenke Wortmann (Drei D), Tom Tykwer (Deadly Maria), Caroline Link (Sommertage), Marco Petry (Schule) and Hans-Christian Schmid (It's a Jungle Out There).