Promoting cinema


The medium of film enables modern Germany to communicate an exceptionally wide-ranging and powerful image of itself and its culture to a wide, young audience abroad.

Film promotion by the Goethe-Institut abroad

Scene with Ulrich Mühe and Ulrich Tukur
Scene with Ulrich Mühe and Ulrich Tukur© picture alliance/Mary Evans Picture Library

The Federal Foreign Office is actively involved in promoting German cinema abroad, particularly through the successful work of the Goethe-Institut in this field. On average around 68 German films are watched by people abroad every day, with an annual total of over two million viewers.

The traditional 35mm festival format has also been made available digitally, so that 70 per cent of film titles are already available on DVD, with subtitles in five to ten languages. The introduction of the DVD format has contributed to making film presentations abroad even better, cheaper and more audience-friendly. Cooperation with German Films Service + Marketing GmbH provides better access to worldwide commercial marketing channels.

Part of the Goethe-Institut’s film work consists in supporting filmmaking in countries in transition, by organising invitations for German films and film directors. Similarly, directors from abroad are offered the opportunity to present their work at German film festivals and network with their European counterparts.

The Goethe-Institut programmes provide a possible springboard for filmmakers as regards distribution in countries whose film marketing is already commercially developed (USA, Australia, Japan, Korea).

In addition, German funding ensures the presence of foreign filmmakers at international festivals, enabling them to attend film-related discussions and workshops and there to engage in dialogue with the German public. Funding also goes to Berlinale Talents, the Berlin International Film Festival’s platform for up‑and-coming creatives in the film industry.

Berlinale Talents
Berlinale Talents© Berlinale Talents

Berlin International Film Festival – Berlinale

The Berlin International Film Festival is now the largest film festival in the world that is open to the public. Up to 400 films – mostly world premieres, or at least European premieres – have been viewed by as many as 400,000 visitors in recent years.

The cinema programme is divided into different sections, each with its own unique profile: big international movies in the Competition, independent and art‑house productions in Panorama; movies specially for a young audience in the Generation section – formerly a children and youth film festival – with a dual programme Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus; the most promising German cinema productions in Perspektive Deutsches Kino, and experimental international films in the Forum.

Contribution by the Federal Foreign Office

The Federal Foreign Office contributes to this highlight of the city’s cultural calendar by supporting “Berlinale Talents”, which was launched in 2003.

Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival and one of the pre‑eminent networking platforms worldwide for emerging filmmakers and a key institution for furthering their work. Each year, 300 outstanding creatives from 12 fields – directing, producing, acting, screenwriting, cinematography, editing, production design, film criticism, sales and distributions, score composing and sound design – are invited to attend Berlinale Talents in February. The 300 individuals selected take part in a six‑day programme that incorporates discussions, workshops and networking events.

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