Genres and Film Topics in Germany

“Land in Sicht” (i.e., Land in Sight) (2013), by Antje Kruska and Judith Keil – intercultural misunderstandings, sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, © Basis Filmverleih

Refugees Welcome – german documentary films about asylum and refugees

Several politically committed films take a nuanced look at those people for whom the flight into the unknown is often the only alternative to marginalization, violence or death in their own homelands.More ...
“Scherbenpark” (i.e., Broken Glass Park) by Bettina Blümner – sensible observation of an angry, rebellious girl, © Neue Visionen Filmverleih

Between mainstream and niche cinema – German children’s and youth films

Adaptations of popular books are in great demand. At the same time, a cinema of challenging content is also emerging that orients itself more strongly to the real life of children and young people.More ...
Stellan Skarsgård (left) and Tom Payne in the historical adventure epic “The Physician”

Blockbusters Made in Germany

Blockbusters from Germany? Not only the big American studios can produce attractive films with box office potential. On a smaller scale this also succeeds in Germany.More ...
Professor Siegfried Mauser; © Thorsten Mischke

“Wagner taught sound images how to walk” – an interview with Siegfried Mauser

Not only the Bayreuth Festival feeds on the genius of Richard Wagner. Cinema too drafts a very special effect from his compositions.More ...
Scene from “The Congress” Photo: © Pandora Film

Filming the unfilmable – German funding helps literary works get into movie houses

Weightier novels manage to find their way into cinemas. In 2012 and 2013, German film production companies took on some rather daring subject matter, but was it worth the risk?More ...
Films like “Dicke Mädchen” can be understood as vital extensions to the German film scene. Photo: © Missing Films

Actors Who Look Like Amateurs: Improvisation in film

A culture of low- to no-budget films has emerged, enabling film-makers to work independently from a funding system determined by the television stations.More ...
Martin Koerber (Photo: Martin Koerber)

Digitization and the Deutsche Kinemathek – An Interview with Martin Koerber

Since 2007, Martin Koerber has been in charge of the film archive of the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin. In our interview, he talks about how important digitization is for his work.More ...
The dirctor of “Breathing Earth“, Thomas Riedelsheimer Photo: © Piffl Medien

The German documentary: daily life, dying and departure

A closer look at the latest German-language documentaries reveals a vast range of subject matter. Yet the conditions for filmmakers are getting worse.More ...
Scene from “Das Wunder von Bern” (The Miracle of Bern, 2003), Photo: © Universum Film Home Entertainment

The Soccer Film in Germany – For Love of the Game

The German soccer film has a long tradition, but roaring success was long not forthcoming. Only since Das Wunder von Bern (The Miracle of Bern) have big and small films about the leather sphere established themselves.More ...
The new director of the DEFA foundation, Ralf Schenk. Photo: © DEFA-Stiftung/Reinhardt und Sommer

DEFA Foundation director Ralf Schenk is preparing our DEFA inheritance for the future

After the DEFA was closed down, the organization’s entire film stock was passed on to the DEFA Foundation. New director of the foundation, Ralf Schenk, wants to set it up for the future.More ...
40 years ago the Oberhausen Manifesto was announced. Photo: © Kurzfilmtage

The Oberhausen Manifesto

On 28 February 1962, 26 film-makers from the Federal Republic of Germany announced at the 8th West German Short Film Festival in Oberhausen: “Conventional film is dead. We believe in the new film.” They reclaimed the licence to create the new German feature film.More ...
“Time of the Gypsies”, Emir Kusturica, 1998 | photo: ©Winklerfilm

Sinti and Roma in German Film

Dancing, stealing, laughing – it is difficult, it seems, to jettison the stereotyping of Sinti and Roma in German film.More ...
The International Festival for Documentary and Animated Films in Leipzig Photo: Bertram Bölkow © DOK Leipzig

German documentary films

The numerous annual festivals dedicated to documentary films in Germany are proof that the genre explores topics in our society that people feel are relevant – and viewers come in droves to enjoy the premieres.More ...
Children in a year four primary school class dealt with the subject of experimental film for the first time. Photo: Daniel Gasenzer © Kurzfilmtage

“Cinema Chaos with Flying Fish”: Children and Experimental Film

As part of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in May, children dealt with the subject of experimental film, presenting a programme they had compiled themselves to an interested audience.More ...
Scene from the movie “The Man from London” Photo: © Basis Filmverleih

The times in focus – film as art

Museums are showing films and movie theaters are showing art. Meanwhile, the frontiers between film and fine art are becoming increasingly blurred. Can film work as art and vice-versa?More ...
Still aus dem Film Almanya; © Concorde Filmverleih

Multiculturalism in German Cinema

The conflict of young adults being caught between the traditions of the old country and the freedom of the new country is often reflected in movies.More ...
Gerhard Richter: working on “Abstract Painting, Catalogue Raisonné: 910-2” Photo: © Piffl-Medien

Beyond The Paintings: Art in Film

Documentary films about art and artists are en vogue at the moment. Gerhard Richter Painting is an example of a documentary about one of Germany’s most pivotal contemporary painters. But what is art doing in the cinema?More ...
Can films from the Arab world be seen as harbingers of the current global upheaval? Photo: Haider Yousuf © iStockphoto

Harbingers of the Arab Spring: Film as social barometer?

So can films from the Arab world also be seen as harbingers of the current global upheaval? If yes, why did we not recognize the signs?More ...
In This World; ©; Arsenal Filmverleih

Immigration – Films with a Social Conscience

Stories about immigrants arouse great interest among German cinema audiences and festival-goers.More ...
Logo of the 17th The International Festival of the Animated Film in Stuttgart 2010; © ITF

Animated Film Production in Baden-Württemberg – A Mood of New Departure in the “Ländle”

Self-confidence – this is the image the animated film scene in Baden-Württemberg has established for itself.More ...
Claas Danielsen ; © Dokfest Leipzig

The Truth And Nothing But The Truth – The German Documentary Film Has An Audience, But No Budget

Successful documentary films these days are no longer a one off. Some Productions attract audiences in their millions.More ...
Filmplakat “Spielzeugland”; © Mephisto Film

The Renaissance of the German Short Film

Every year in Germany more than 2.000 short films are produced, but where do people go to watch them?More ...
Set of “Liebe Mauer”; © Warner Bros. / Relevant Film / Steffen Junghans

The Berlin Wall on the Silver Screen

Apart from being used merely as a backdrop for Cold-War thrillers, the Berlin Wall has also been the setting for quite a few remarkable film and TV productions.More ...
Part of the film poster of “Valkyrie”; © film distribution

Contemporary History in Film

The Third Reich, the Red Army Faction, the GRD and the Re-Unification of Germany – contemporary historical themes furnish material for sometimes spectacular filmsMore ...
From “Armer Hansi” (1943); source: Int. Trickfilm-Festival Stuttgart / ITFS 2009

100 Years Of The German Animated Film

The genre of animated film in Germany can look back over 100 years and in that time it has managed to pocket two Oscars and produce a myriad of „Stars“. On the other hand however it has also been through some highly volatile times.More ...
Winter adé – Plakatausschnitt; © DEFA-Stiftung / Michael Loewenberg; Foto: Heike Misselwitz

“After Winter Comes Spring” – Cinematic Forerunners of the Wende

A retrospective, initiated by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the German Cinematheque, is showing fifteen evening programmes of cinematic testimonies of the last decade of the Cold War.More ...
'Toni Goldwasher'
Cop: Zorro Film GmbH

Children’s Cinema Made In Germany – Popular All Over The World

The broad spectrum of material and genres to be found in the realm of German children’s cinema has won recognition both at home and abroad. Quite a number of productions have already been awarded international prizes even before they hit the screens in Germany.More ...
Antoniadis Prodromos during acrobatics lessons for the first semester, spring 1998 © time banditsfilms / Journal Film Klaus Volkenborn KG

New Forms of Fictionalisation in Documentary Film

Docu-fiction, docu-fake, docu-soap and reality show are concepts that have been circulating in the documentary film scene since the 1990’s, and are the subject of intense debate. Today, the cross-over trend among film genres is taking on a new dimension.More ...
Further articles

KuBus – Cultural Videos from Germany

A collection of video contributions on cultural and societal life in Germany.

Urban Legends

Hitchhikers, marble brides and much more: Modern fairy tales from all around the world

Dossier: Virtual Reality

Are We Still in the Game? An Anthology on Virtual Reality

Berlinale Talent Press

Call For Entries: ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival

For the 7th time, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is inviting entries for the competition to find the best poetry films. To qualify for entry, films should be short films based on poems. Deadline: 25 April 2014

Interview: Margarethe von Trotta

Margarethe von Trotta, 2014 (Photo: Manfred Breuersbrock)
Before Hannah Arendt’s official Australian release, Peter Krausz interviewed its director, Margarethe von Trotta. Von Trotta talks about making Hannah Arendt, as well as some of the problems European filmmakers face in an American-dominated industry.


News from Germany’s culture and society