Deutsches Filminstitut DIF e.V. [German Film Institute]

Logo Deutsches Filminstitut [German Film Institute]

Deutsches Filminstitut DIF e.V.

Schaumainkai 41

60596 Frankfurt am Main

Deutsches Filminstitut DIF e.V. [German Film Institute]

Photograph:Building of the Deutsches Filminstitut ]German Film Institute] / Deutsches Filmmuseum [German Film Museum] am Schaumainkai in Frankfurt am MainBuilding of the Deutsches Filminstitut ]German Film Institute] / Deutsches Filmmuseum [German Film Museum] am Schaumainkai in Frankfurt am Main© Deutsches Filminstitut e.V. Founded in 1949, the Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF e.V. [German Film Institute] is a non-profit organisation based in Frankfurt am Main. The DIF is dedicated to the medium of film, showcasing its history and present, its aesthetics and influence in a multitude of ways through exhibitions and screenings in its own cinema. Its collections, archives, scientific projects and library offer visitors an extraordinary place for an intense encounter with motion pictures.

The permanent exhibition deals with the origins of film, its trends and its future, starting before the “invention” of cinema in 1895 and tracing its development since then. It also explains to visitors how cinematic perception and storytelling work – how techniques enable film pictures to create the effects intended by the director. Numerous special exhibitions each year deal with the works of outstanding film-makers or examine fascinating phenomena. The in-house cinema shows classic films and the whole spectrum of artistically significant film production.

The institute's archives and collections are closely connected with the exhibitions in the Deutsches Filmmuseum. Photos, signs, film reviews in the daily press, books and newspapers are systematically collected and archived. The DIF has one of the world's most extensive collections of film-related material. It also has a large collection of film technology, a graphics collection with original drawings and designs by important film architects, scenographers and costume designers as well as a film archive with 20,000 copies in Wiesbaden.

In terms of exile-related artefacts, important material includes the collections of Oskar Fischinger, Irmgard von Cube, Heinrich Oberländer and Hans Richter; the CCC archive of producer Artur Brauner, who played a role in the remigration of many exiles; films and documents from the estate of Lotte Reiniger; parts of the estate of Robert Wiene; the film-related bequest of Victor Vicas; and photographs and letters from exiles from various collections, as well as the library of Lotte Eisner. 

Together with the Fritz Bauer Institut, the DIF created the online database Cinématographie des Holocaust.  Other important projects include, the central internet platform for German film, the online portal, which since 2011 has provided free and easy access to hundreds of thousands of documents related to the history of film in 16 European film archives and film libraries under the auspices of the DIF, as well as a film digitalisation project on the first world war also being coordinated by the DIF.

Exhibitions (selection):

Von Babelsberg nach Hollywood. Filmemigranten aus Nazi-Deutschland, 1987
Artur Brauner und die CCC – Filmgeschäft und Studiogeschichte 1946-1990, 1990
Mikael Levin: Suche – Auf den Spuren einer Reise nach Europa. Ausstellung des Fritz Bauer Instituts in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Deutschen Filmmuseum, 1997
Verehrt Verfolgt Vergessen – Schauspieler als Naziopfer.Kooperation des Deutschen Filmmuseums mit der Herbert Ihering Gesellschaft, Schöppenstedt und dem Fritz Bauer Institut Frankfurt, 1998
Victor Vicas – Kosmopolit und Filmemacher, 2005/2006

Publications (selection):

Claudia Dillmann-Kühn: Artur Brauner und die CCC: Filmgeschäft, Produktionsalltag, Studiogeschichte 1946-1990: Ausstellungskatalog, Frankfurt am Main 1990
Hilmar Hoffmann u. Walter Schobert (Hgg.), Ronny Loewy (Red.): Von Babelsberg nach Hollywood: Filmemigranten aus Nazideutschland Exponatenverzeichnis. Ausstellung Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt 1987
Ronny Loewy: Das jiddische Kino. Kommunales Kino Frankfurt am Main 1980
Ronny Loewy: Die Vergangenheit in der Gegenwart. Konfrontationen mit den Folgen des Holocaust im Deutschen Nachkriegsfilm (Jahrestagung der Cinematographie des Holocaust). Edition text+kritik, München 2001