Happy Birthday! The DEFA Film Library Turns 30

DEFA 30 Logo © DEFA-Stiftung

(Re)Discover Four Film Treasures from East Germany,
followed by Q&A sessions with East German cinema experts

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on September 23, 1993, Prof. Barton Byg signed contracts with German partners that marked the official founding of the DEFA Film Library—the first and only archive and research center devoted to East German film culture outside Germany. In the three decades since, an enthusiastic team of faculty, staff and students has established the archive’s importance through groundbreaking film series, DVD and streaming releases, workshops, teaching guides and books. The biennial Summer Film Institutes hosted and organized by the DEFA Film Library have inspired new research trends in exploring East German film as part of German and international film history.

The DEFA Film Library has also been a close curatorial partner of the international network of the Goethe-Institutes, collaborating on numerous film series and events. We are happy to celebrate this special birthday here in Boston with a four-part film program that will bring together current and former members of the DEFA Film Library team to present and discuss lesser-known DEFA gems that are ripe for (re)discovery.