Long the home of a dynamic film industry, the area around Munich, in the German state of Bavaria (Bayern) has provided directors of international stature—from Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock to Ingmar Bergman and Stanley Kubrick—with first class film production facilities. Today the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern plays a central role in the development and support of state-funded contemporary German film production.
About the Collection
The FilmFernsehFonds Bayern donated this film collection to the HFA in 1999 with the assistance of Professor Eric Rentschler in Harvard's Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies. This collection of 232 films and videos, produced between 1975 and 2007, is one of the most complete surveys of German film from the period residing in the United States today and includes films by some of the most influential directors working in Germany during the time, such as Fatih Akin, Michael Verhoeven, Tom Tykwer, Hans-Christian Schmid, Volker Schlöndorff and Doris Dorrie. In addition to the films, the collection includes publicity material and an extensive library of books and magazines. Students and researchers interested in German film criticism and the development and funding of contemporary German or European cinema will find these resources to be invaluable.
At the heart of the magazine collection are two voluminous, nearly complete runs of the trade magazines Filmdienst (1980-2002) and filmecho/filmwoche (1950-1999). Other magazines include the industry publication Der Gilden-Dienst, scholarly/critical magazines such as Filmkritik, Filmwissenschaftliche Mitteilungen/Beiträge, and F-Filmjournal, and the special interest publications Evangelischer Film-Beobachter and EpdFilm: Zeitschrift des Evangelischen Pressedienstes.
The films in the collection provide a cross section of the cultural currents that have shaped the new Germany in the late 20th and early 21st century, including The Nasty Girl, (Verhoeven, 1990), Oi! Warning (Reding and Reding, 1999) and Distant Lights, (Schmid, 2003). The larger part of the collection consists of films that were produced after the fall of the Berlin Wall; these titles provide a unique perspective on the concerns of a reunited Germany.
A complete list of films in this collection is available via the Harvard Library catalog HOLLIS. Approximately one third of the films in the collection are subtitled in English, while the remainder are available in German language versions only. In most cases, access to film prints for research is limited to those titles unavailable in other streaming or digital formats.
For access to the publicity materials in this collection, please contact the HFA Collections Archivist.
The following periodicals and film almanacs from the collection have been transferred to Harvard's Widener Library and are available for loan: