The Goethe-Instituts are the most active ambassadors of German film worldwide. No other “cinema” has more than five million viewers each year in over 80 countries. Roughly 2,500 film screenings take place each year at the 136 Goethe-Instituts: from classic silent films to the latest German box office hits.
Further activities such as seminars, workshops and advanced training courses for filmmakers in the host countries promote intercultural understanding and help to establish and expand the local film and media landscapes.
The Goethe-Institut has a central film archive in Germany and 40 film archives around the world, which supply the institutes and educational organizations abroad with German films for their programmes. The individual productions are in English, Spanish, French and often subtitled with many other language versions. Almost 900 films are available and high-quality productions are always being chosen for purchase. The spectrum ranges from classic German silent films of the 1920s to the latest feature film productions. The film archive also contains children’s and teens’ movies as well as documentaries, shorts and music films.
German film programmes and audience discussions are important elements of the activities of the Goethe-Instituts abroad. The film programmes are made up mainly of feature films at 75 percent of all events. 60 percent of the productions shown are current contemporary films.
The film programmes frequently leave the premises of the Goethe-Instituts and go on tour: for example on the film train in Rabat or the film bus in Jakarta. The palette is supplemented by film programmes at universities or other central places. In France, the Ciné Allemand familiarizes thousands of pupils with German films.
The Goethe-Institut organizes or participates in almost 150 local, national and international film festivals on every continent. It advises and supports the festivals, designs German focus programmes or thematic programme sections with German film contributions and invites German artists to attend.
Furthermore, it is the initiator of important own German-language or European festivals such as Berlin and Beyond in San Francisco and the German Film Fest Australia in Australia.
For festivals in Germany as well, the Goethe-Institut is an important partner or supporter. In cooperation with the Filmfest Dresden, for instance, since 2002 it has organized a dialogue forum for young international filmmakers. It has awarded its own documentary film prize every year since 2003 - in 2011, the prize will be presented at the DOK Leipzig documentary film festival for the first time.
Seminars, advanced training and workshops for professionals in the film industry are a particularly enduring form of cultural cooperation. German filmmakers work with their colleagues abroad or present their films on location, in order to learn more from a reciprocal exchange of knowledge and skills in areas such as directing, screenplays, camera or editing. Due to new digital, low-budget production possibilities, the workshops increasingly generate commercially successful short films of all genres. Generally, these events are organised by the respective Goethe-Institut abroad.
Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival and one of the most important talent developers and networking platforms for emerging filmmakers worldwide. Each year, 300 outstanding Talents from different fields in the area of film come to Berlinale Talents for an extensive six-day programme with talks, workshops and networking events. The Goethe-Institut strongly supports the work of Berlinale Talents – in particular by inviting emerging film critics and film journalists to attend the ‘Talent Press’ workshop (co-organised with Berlinale Talents and FIPRESCI) with experienced mentors to cover Berlinale Talents as well as the festival and films.
In cooperation with the German public television stations, the Goethe-Instituts worldwide show outstanding German TV films. Cooperation in the field of quality television is the focus in particular in threshold and transition countries. In addition, the Goethe-Institut works together with broadcasting companies in Germany and abroad on a number of national and international film and television productions.
Support of quality television is the focal point of cooperation with TV broadcasters worldwide. With its programme work abroad, the Goethe-Institut screens outstanding productions by the German broadcasting services.
Better schemes and programmes for television are also the aim of the cooperation with the International Public Television Screening Conference INPUT. The Film, Television and Radio Division supports these activities by organizing corresponding advance training programmes. On the basis of the international INPUT contributions, the local Goethe-Instituts also organize approximately 15 to 20 “Mini INPUTs” each year.
In cooperation with the Prix Jeunesse foundation, the Goethe-Institut compiles the best international television productions for children and teenagers in its “Prix Jeunesse Box.” The films are employed in workshops, which help professional programmers develop quality standards in children’s television.
On principle, televisions of film projects are not viewed for their suitability for use overseas by the Goethe-Institut until they have been completed. Under certain conditions, however, the Goethe-Institut can also become involved as co-producer of films; in particular for television shows that refer to Goethe projects abroad or are generated by them, as well as for programming that deals with a topic of regional or cultural policy significance with an international dimension.
Radio is gaining ever-greater attention – in part due to the new opportunities provided by the Internet. Not only reception, but in particular production by users themselves plays an increasing role. The Goethe-Institut therefore supports innovative radio projects. Activities in listening culture will be more increasingly anchored in the future programme work of the Goethe-Institut.
In cooperation with Deutsche Welle and other broadcasters, the Goethe-Institut offers workshops for radio journalists in particular in developing and threshold countries. Seminars and panels focus on organizational, content-related and social aspects of radio. In addition, the Goethe-Instituts present German radio play productions in the scope of audio art festivals.