From its initiation at the end of the 1950's, the archive grew at a rapid pace - thanks in part to successful cooperation with Eastern European countries. Starting in 1993, the general archive policy of purchasing prize-winning films was extended to include the acquisition on a loan basis of German short films for distribution purposes. The collection now amounts to more than 2,000 titles, encompassing almost 3,000 prints. With over 100 films from former Yugoslavia alone, in addition to prints of films from countries ranging from Egypt to Zambia, the unique standing and significance of this international short film collection are evident.
Filmmaking nations such as the Czech Republic, Great Britain, France, Italy, Poland, and the USA are represented, as are prominent names in film such as Kenneth Anger and Santiago Álvarez or Walerian Borowczyk, Jürgen Böttcher, Maya Deren, Claude Goretta, Werner Herzog, Takahiko Iimura, Romuald Karmakar, Alexander Kluge, Jan Lenica, George Lucas, Toshio Matsumoto, Matthias Müller, Roman Polanski, Alain Resnais, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Aleksandr Sokurov, Jan Švankmajer and including István Szabó, Alain Tanner and Želimir Žilnik. The archive also includes a collection of prints from the Sports Film Festival Oberhausen (1968-75) and the MuVi Award (since 1999).
Viewing equipment is available in the archive for works in all existing formats. Information on the archive stock is provided by our database. The archive strives to work in compliance with the rules of the FIAF (Féderation International des Archives du Film) and at the same time to make accessible copies for distribution and media-related institutions.
Since the archive does not stock original material (negatives or soundtracks), and prints have been subjected to frequent use over the past 40 years, every copy is closely inspected before authorization for projection is given. In addition, specialized personnel is involved with the ongoing restoration of archive stock.
Contact: Carsten Spicher