German Film Institute (DIF)

The Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF was founded in 1949 and today holds extensive collections of films, posters and photographs as well as an unrivalled collection of printed documents on the subject of film. To collect, process and analyse materials on film and the cinema and to make them available to the public is one of the main functions of the Filminstitut.

In addition to archiving, the Filminstitut hosts a number of online projects, takes active part in international film culture initiatives and organises several film festivals.

Since 2006 the Deutsches Filmmuseum has been part of the Deutsches Filminstitut, which significantly increased the holdings. While the Deutsches Filmmuseum continues to provide its trademark services, cinema screenings and exhibitions, the formerly separate archives were united under the umbrella of the Institut. The Institut’s headquarters is situated on the banks of the river Main; the building at 41 Schaumainkai also houses the Deutsches Filmmuseum. In July 2009 the City of Frankfurt transferred the property to the Deutsches Filmmuseum on a hereditary lease basis.

A significant part of the holdings are housed in Frankfurt’s district of Rödelheim, where since early 2007 an archive-cum- visitor centre has united the poster archive, the music archive and the script archive in one place. Also to be found there are the collections and estates of German filmmakers and actors such as Volker Schlöndorff, Curd Jürgens, Maria Schell, Luggi Waldleitner or Artur Brauner held by the Deutsches Filminstitut.

Other departments of the Filminstitut are located in the Hessian capital: in January 2009 the Filmarchiv moved into new premises in Wiesbaden’s district of Biebrich, while the ‘Digital Department’ has had its address at the Deutsches Filmhaus since June 2009.

In addition, the DIF hosts an extensive online portal on German film: is the leading platform for comprehensive, confirmed and reliable information on all German films – from the beginnings until today. Aside from filmographic information on every motion picture and (long) documentary ever made in Germany, filmportal also provides synopses, biographies, photos, posters and merchandising products, reviews and articles, statistics and prices as well as retail information (videos, DVD, books etc.).

Among the Institut’s areas of collection are magazines and press releases, books and film programmes as well as marketing suggestions and press folders. In addition, there are special collections - scripts, scores and autographs - as well as estates. The library’s holdings can also be researched online.

The film magazine collection is at the centre of the DIF’s textual documentation; it is possibly the most important of its kind in the archives of the Deutscher Kinematheksverbund (German Federation of Cinémathèques). All in all, 1,900 different magazine titles are available. Currently the DIF stocks 120 national and international film magazine titles which are systematically analysed and archived.

Furthermore, the following can be found at the DIF: newspaper clippings with reviews, interviews or obituaries, festival bills and reports, material available on loan, press packs and marketing instructions as well as cinematographic and biographical information.

Moreover, the Deutsches Filminstitut runs a reference library. With around 80,000 publications it is one of the largest specialist libraries in Germany.

The image archive owns a collection of over 1.8 million photographs making it one of the largest German sources of images on the subject of film. Those interested in images of film sets, technology, studios, costumes, cinemas and cinema advertising will appreciate the small specialist collections. In addition, files listing the holdings according to motifs such as telephones, bathtubs or sunglasses are available. The DIF poster collection contains around 20,000 posters of 10,500 films.

In the film archive copies of ca. 10,000 titles are professionally stored in refrigerated film repositories. The focus is on the collection of German films, the silent film in particular. In addition to the material in the archives, a great number of distribution copies are available at the DIF. Moreover, the Filminstitut restores productions in order to make them available to the public in new quality.

Aside from renowned online projects and extensive archiving work, the Deutsches Filminstitut renders outstanding services in the area of film and media education. In addition to regular ‘KinderKino’ (children’s cinema) screenings, the Institut organises various film festivals for schools (‘Cinéfête’, ‘Britfilms’ – a British school film festival, and ‘Ven y mira’ – a Spanish school film festival). The ‘SchulKinoWochen Hessen’ (Hesse SchoolCinemaWeeks) put schools in touch with cinema operators and in March of every year cinemas turn into classrooms. The Filminstitut’s education department offers hands-on film education services at the Kinderatelier (children’s studio) and organises children’s birthday-parties on request. The film education showcase project ‘Jugend-Film-Jury’ (Young People’s Film Jury) introduces students to important current and older films. The ‘Schule des Sehens’ (School of Looking) with its intensive workshops on film analysis – held in cinemas – is also geared towards school groups.

In the autumn of every year, the international children’s film festival LUCAS brings current children’s cinema from all over the globe to the metropolis on the river Main. Every April, the festival goEast organised by the Filminstitut provides a platform for Central and Eastern European cinema in Wiesbaden.

DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum e.V.
Schaumainkai (Museumsufer) 41
60596 Frankfurt am Main
Phone +49 (0) 69 961220220
Fax +49 (0) 69 961220999