Hitchcock legacy lives at Edit festival

Fete kicks off international tech gathering

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Tippi Hedren accepted festival honors for Alfred Hitchcock on Sunday at the opening gala of the 10th annual Edit Filmmakers Festival in Frankfurt.

The ceremony opened with a speech from Hessen president Roland Koch, who reported that the German state's new €20 million ($28.6 million) film-funding program would be extended to include locations in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg.

"This way we offer locations from the Black Forest to Frankfurt's skyline," he said.

The presentation was made before a capacity crowd of 350 at Frankfurt's St. Peter's Church, which was built in the 1800s and is being remodeled. Red carpet arrivals were held in front of St. Peter's, where torches lined the stone stairs at the entrance.

Festival co-director Tom Atkin introduced a tribute reel of Hitchcock's work, which included interviews with Martin Landau and Shirley MacLaine.

"The thing that really separated Hitchcock from other filmmakers was his understanding of his audience," Atkin said. "He knew how to tease them, humor them, tantalize them, frighten them and always leave them wanting more."

Koch presented the award to Hedren, who received a lengthy standing ovation. "His work was genius and it changed my life," she said. "This award might go to the Smithsonian, which would be fantastic."

The 10th Edit Filmmakers Festival is presented by the State of Hessen and its Office for Private Broadcasting and New Media in cooperation with the Visual Effects Society. The annual event is among Europe's largest festivals focused on the art and science of filmmaking and storytelling.

Scheduled speakers include Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor John Knoll ("Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy) and editor Alan Heim ("All That Jazz"). A couple thousand are expected to attend the festival, which runs through Tuesday at the CineStar Metropolis.