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Deutsches Filminstitut (DIF)

Via filmarchives online, the Deutsche Filminstitut - DIF is currently providing access to the meta-data of circa 1'200 documentary and educational (short) films from its archives, most of which have been produced in Germany before 1945. The collection includes many unknown rarities, fragments and amateur material, which document their contemporary political and social situation, inform about natural phenomena or capture historically relevant events; they must therefore be considered valuable documents of bygone eras. The DIF's selection also includes productions from other countries, as well as several productions from the post-war period until the 1980s. Newsreels or films on cultural topics, such as Curt Oertels' "Michelangelo – Life of a Titan" (1938-40), a film that set new standards for the art features of its period, are made available in the archives. In some cases, filmarchives online also provides copies of better known documentaries, like Ruttman's "Berlin - Symphony of a Great City", Alain Resnais' "Night and Fog" ("Nuit et bruillard", 1955) or "Hundertwasser's Rainy Day" (1969-71) by Peter Schamoni.

The DIF's contribution focuses in particular on the commercials produced by the Munich-based production company Insel Film. The DIF owns the rights of these films and has archived the entire back catalogue of the company. Insel Film was highly influential in the 1950s, when it produced commercials for a great number of well-known German companies. Today, these commercials illustrate the change of values and common norms in German society. Other commercials by different companies are also available via filmarchives online.

Successively, the DIF will add further data of distributable copies from its archives to the filmarchives online catalogue, so that in the future, information on fictional and non-fictional feature films, as well as collections yet not included, will be available besides the already accessible documentary and commercial short films.

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