You are here: Home Partners Deutsches Filminstitut - DIF
Document Actions

Deutsches Filminstitut - DIF

dif logo

Founded in 1949, the Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF is the oldest institute for film studies in Germany and also one of Germany’s largest cinematic institutions.

Along with the Bundesarchiv/Filmarchiv (Federal Film Archive) and the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek (Foundation of the German Cinemathèque), both in Berlin, the DIF is a full member of the German Federation of Cinemathèques, sharing with the above mentioned organisations the duties of a central German Cinemathèque. Since 1952, the institute has been a full member of the Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film (FIAF), and also participates in international projects.

Aside from its functions as a research institute and an archive, the DIF is also actively engaged in promoting film culture. Among other projects, the DIF is currently working on its web project ‘’ – the most comprehensive online source of information on German cinema –, the international children’s film festival LUCAS, presenting high quality children’s films from all over the world, and the goEast film festival, offering more than 150 films from Central and Eastern Europe.

In January 2006, the Deutsche Filmmuseum (German Museum of Film) affiliated to the DIF. The merged institution Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF / Deutsches Filmmuseum offers unique access to all relevant archival materials and expertise on film: the archives are endued with film prints, posters, photographs, and critiques.

In addition, the DIF is promoting German film history and international film culture by organising cinematic events, film festivals, symposiums, expositions, and publications. The DIF is running two cinemas: The award-winning Cinema of the Deutsches Filmmuseum – showing a multi-faceted program of up to 700 feature and around 400 short films from all regions of the world each year –, and the Caligari Filmbühne, presenting archival treasures twice a week.

Furthermore, the DIF is engaged in several educational activities. The permanent exhibition of the museum with its numerous exhibits of film history will be restructured soon. A new focus will be set on media education and digital challenges. In March 2007, the education-oriented ‘SchulKinoWochen’ (School Cinema Weeks) will take place for the first time, inviting all school children nationwide to exchange their morning classroom for the cinema. Extensive temporary exhibitions are focusing on specific aspects, themes, and relevant persons of film history. Guided tours, film-courses, educational materials, and the ‘Schule des Sehens’ (School of Looking) round off the educational program.

Archives & Collections

Film Archive

The DIF film archive is involved in institutions and projects nationwide as well as in European projects in order to save the heritage of film art. The archive holds more than 20.000 copies. The non-commercial film distribution provides German productions since the era of silent movies. In addition to the film archive DIF has built up a collection of 7.000 files filled with clippings and 36.000 microfilm jackets.

Text Archive / Film Library

The text archive collections hold 1 million newspaper articles covering film reviews, biographical sketches and general film issues as well as press books and promotional material. Special collections contain for example 3.000 censorship cards and 40.000 film programmes. Text archive and library possess a comprehensive collection of film periodicals with more than 2000 different titles. AV material and the 68.000 books of the library are researchable via Internet. In addition to current acquisitions it holds a unique collection of historical film books and brochures.

Photo Archive

The photographic collections comprise about 2 million still photographs from all countries. The material on hand includes black and white just as colour photos, slides and negatives from both German and international films, dating from the silent film era up to the latest productions. Portraits of international actors, directors, producers, cinematographers etc. are available as well as smaller collections covering subjects like cinemas, film technology, and studios.

Poster Archive

The collection of film posters is holding some 50.000 posters of nearly 25.000 German and international films, dating from classic silent movies up to current films. The stock also holds posters printed and distributed in the former GDR. Among the highlights are original designs made by the graphic artists Georg Schubert, Erich Meerwald, and Bruno Rehak.

Estates and Collections

With its estates and collections the Deutsches Filminstitut / Deutsches Filmmuseum preserves important documents of film history, including architectural sketches, graphic arts, and costume designs. Furthermore there are estates of notable personalities such as the directors Volker Schlöndorff and Kurt Hoffmann, or the producers Luggi Waldleitner and Artur Brauner, or the actress Maria Schell.

Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF e. V.