10.05. ‐ 15.05.2022

Future German Film

Congress on Prospects for German Film- and Cinema Culture //

05th & 06th April 2018 //

Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus (Alfred-Brehm-Platz 16, 60316 Frankfurt am Main)

“Can somebody think of the future?” is the title Spiegel Online gave its filmpolitical column on the 11th July 2017. Lots must be changed, on this the interdisciplinary audiences and the filmmakers in Germany could agree. But how can we succeed in making international successes like Victoria or Toni Erdmann the rule and not the exception? How can we make sure that the German film finds its way back to audiences and that social diversity is present on both sides of the camera, that filmmakers can make a living from their work and the cinema continues as a culturally relevant place? Which new evaluation- and distribution processes exist? Cinema has the potential to convey experiences, to encourage community-formation and provide political impulses. Our conference aims to provide political impulses as well with European far-sightedness. We welcome guests from neighbouring countries who will report of their working and funding conditions.

Parallel to public panel discussions and lectures on the three topic areas Funding & Financing, Training & Trainees and Distribution & Cinema Culture, the film series “Zukunft Deutscher Film” (Future German Cinema) and events such as the Videoschnipsel-Performance by Jürgen Kuttner, three roundtable discussions on the central themes focus on concrete proposals for actions, which aim to carry impulses for change into politics and industries.

The initiator of the conference is Edgar Reitz, who, as patron of the LICHTER Film Festival 2016, emphasized the necessity of a film political fresh start. He is cosignatory of the Oberhausener Manifest of 1962. Back then, a group of 26 filmmakers laid the foundation for the New German Film” and the subsequently developed film funding system in Germany with the Oberhausener Manifest. Today Reitz says: It is time for a new manifesto.”

In 2015, 139.2 million people visited cinemas in Germany. 27.5 percent went to see German films. While that is a record, what is being overlooked is that barely any German film had more than 8.000 viewers, meaning the great number of viewers concentrated on only a few titles. With roughly 250 film starts in Germany per year, the big challenge lies in making individual films visible to the audience. A similar fate befalls the ambitious European cinema in German cinemas and TV-channels. Cinema needs to find new paths for it to survive in the age of constant availability of audio-visual material. We believe in the Cinema and hope you do so too, and are looking forward to an exciting conference.

Confirmed guests:

Bestätigte Gäste:

  • Cornelia Ackers (feature film editor at the Bayerischer Rundfunk)
  • Jascha Alleyne (lawyer for copyright- and entertainment law)
  • Doris Bauer (head of program at the international competition of the Austrian short film festival VIS Vienna Shorts)
  • Martin Blankemeyer (director, producer, board member of the Münchner Filmwerkstatt e.V., associate lecturer at the Hochschule München.)
  • Svenja Böttger (festival director Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis)
  • Robert Bramkamp (director)
  • Dietrich Brüggemann (director, „Kreuzweg“)
  • Stefan Butzmühlen (director)
  • Sung-Hyng Cho (director and professor)
  • Anna de Paoli (producer and lecturer)
  • Linus de Paoli (director and producer)
  • Claudia Dillmann (former Director of German Filmmuseum and the German Filminstitute – DIF e.V.)
  • Frank Döhmann (producer, filmmaker and professor for film production at the KHM.)
  • Fabian Eder (film maker, director, camera man and author. He is also chairman of the Dachverband der österreichischen Filmschaffenden) 
  • Annette Ernst (director, author, co-founder of Pro Quote Regie, lecturer at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HFG Offenbach) and jury member HessenFilm)
  • Julius Feldmeier (actor)
  • Robert Fischer (author and film maker)
  • Thomas Frickel (film maker and producer, managing director at AG Dok).
  • Thomas Gammeltoft (film- and TV producer, head of Copenhagen Film Fund)
  • Lars Henrik Gass (festival director of the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen.
  • Sophia Gräfe (media- and cultural studies scientist, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
  • Michael Hack (festival conception political consultant, translator, CEO of the „Woche der Kritik“)
  • Martin Hagemann (producer, Zero Fiction Film)
  • Ellen M. Harrington (director of the Deutsches Filminstitut and the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt)
  • Helmut Herbst (director and professor)
  • Andrew Higson (Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York)
  • Jörg Himstedt (feature film editor at the Hessischer Rundfunk, „Oh Boy“, „Herbert“)
  • Alfred Holighaus (President of the Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft e.V. (SPIO)
  • Philipp Jedicke (freelance journalist, online editor and researcher for public broadcasters, director von "Shut up and play the Piano“)
  • Odine Johne (theatre, film and TV actor)
  • Christian Jungen (head of the ressort culture at the NZZ am Sonntag and editor-in-chief of the film magazine Frame, film journalist, awarded with the Prix Pathé for film journalism and founding member of the Schweizer Filmakademie)
  • RP Kahl (actor, director and film producer, professor for film at the Dekra Hochschule für Medien Berlin, deputy CEO of the Deutsche Filmakademie)
  • Alexander Kleider (co-founderr of the production firm DOK-WERK, filmmaker, lecturer)
  • Cornelia Köhler (self-employed dramaturg for cinema and TV, board member of Women in Film and Television Germany)
  • Tanja C. Krainhöfer (media economist)
  • Florian Krautkrämer (film scientist, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
  • Jakob Lass (director „Love Steaks“, „Tiger Girl“)
  • Mischka Popp
  • Steffen Presse 
  • Maximiliane Prokop (producer and directing assistence)
  • Silke Johanna Räbiger (head of the Internationalen Frauenfilmfestivals Dortmund | Köln, member of the selection committee at the Filmfestivals Max Ophüls Preis)
  • Bettina Reitz (President of the HFF München)
  • Edgar Reitz (filmmaker, author and lecturer, „Heimat“-Trilogie)
  • Thorsten Schaumann (festival director Hofer Filmtage)
  • Anna Schoeppe (head of the Kuratorium junger deutscher Film in Wiesbaden)
  • Roderik Smits (research associate at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television der University of York)
  • Ludwig Sporrer (curator DOK.fest München)
  • Urs Spörri (film scientist, cultural management and moderator, program curator of the Deutschen Filmmuseums)
  • Linda Söffker (head of the Sektion Perspektive Deutsches Kino der Berlinale)
  • Rüdiger Suchsland (journalist and film critics, director of documentaries, like "Hitlers Hollywood" 2017)
  • Ernst Szebedits (film producer and board Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung)
  • Christoph Thoke (film- and TV producer, Co-/producer at Little Senegal 2001, Tropical Malady 2004, Kirgisische Mitgift 2006)
  • Alex Traila (EURIMAGES Representative Romanian Film Centre)
  • Claudia Tronnier (head of the ZDF-Redaktion „Das kleine Fernsehspiel“)
  • Dominik Tschütscher (Cinema Next – Junges Kino aus Österreich Liechtensteiner lives in Wien)
  • Tini Tüllmann (director, “Freddy/Eddy”)
  • Jörg van Bebber
  • Julia von Heinz (guest professor feature film director at the HFF, director „Hanni und Nanni 2“, „Hannas Reise“ (2013), „Ich bin dann mal weg“ (2015))
  • Sabrina Wagner
  • Laura Walde (former Co-head of the Schweizer Jugendfilmtage, doctoral candidate "Exhibiting Film: Challenges of Format" at the Universität Zürich)
  • Roderik Warich (director and screenplay author)
  • Marie Wilke (director "Staatsdiener", "Aggregat“)
  • Gerhard Wissner (cinema operations, festival director of the Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest) 

The detailed program of the Congress

Thursday, 5th of April 2018 // 12-15 o’clock // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Großer Saal

Forum Europe

Experts of Forum Europe and open for all interested parties

Host: Rüdiger Suchsland

The eye to Europe opens the perspectives of the Congress: International experts discuss the requirements of film production and –funding in their respective countries in different thematic blocks. The Forum aims to compare these insights to the situation in Germany and give possible impulses for future change in collaboration with the audience.

The event is held in English.


Thursday, 5th of April 2018 // 14 – 15:30 // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Kleiner Saal

Status Quo German Film – Taking Inventory


Linda Söffker, Svenja Böttger, Daniel Sponsel und Thorsten Schaumann

Host: Urs Spörri

Nobody watches as many German films as the makers of festivals and film series that occupy themselves with German cinema. Many of these films, however, are visible outside of the safe space of the festival. We’re questioning them on why that is, what the strengths and weaknesses of the German cinema of the present are, on the career chances of young directors and why German films so rarely succeed at the big international festivals.


Thursday, 5th of April 2018 // 15:30 – 17 o’clock // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Großer Saal

Open Mic

Open discussion

After long panel debates and presentations, it is time for an open discussion beyond all format requirements, at least almost. At Open Mic, everyone and anyone has the opportunity to take the floor for ten minutes and put their own ideas to debate. All topics of the congress can be discussed. Unorthodox proposals and surprising connections are explicitly wanted.

Thursday, 6th of April 2018 // 15:45 – 17:15 // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Kleiner Saal

“6 Minutes 66” – a documental Experiment // Followed by: New Journeys of German Film

Lecture & Panel

A documental experiment by Julius Feldmeier

Julius Feldmeier, Jakob Lass, Tini Tüllmann and Linus de Paoli (tbc)

Host: Urs Spörri


A hotel room. A camera. For 6 Minutes and 66 seconds, young filmmakers are confronted with questions about the future of cinema. What turns out os a documentary experiment of a film-political change of perspective, reminiscent of Wim Winders’ “Chambre 666”. The presentation of the project by Julius Feldmeier is followed by a discussion: Which journeys do young filmmakers take to realize and convey their work despite the obstacles?


Thursday, 5th of April 2018 // 20 o’clock // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Großer Saal

Videoschnipsel-talk//“Glotze, Kino, Filmtheater” by Jürgen Kuttner

Radio host and performance artist Jürgen Kuttner presents one of his legendary Videoschnipsel-talks for us at the eleventh LICHTER Film Festival.


This time he takes on German filmmaking and the medium that once formed our taste in film: German television. Television or Film or Reality?


When LICHTER inquires on the future of German film on Festival-Thursday and Friday, Kuttner will supplement the discourse with an entertaining perspective into the glimmering world of German film-and television history.


Friday, 6th of April 2018 // 10:30 – 12:30 // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Kleiner Saal

Cinema Next: Breakfast Club Europa

Breakfast & Discussion

Perspectives of European Youth Development

Dominik Tschütscher, experts of the Forum Europe and open to all interested parties

The somewhat different breakfast of the future: Thoughts can be exchanged here informally, the Austrian initiative Cinema Next is serving croissants and coffee as a perfect opportunity for networking. Five-minute “interventions” on the European youth development set impulses that can be discussed in smaller groups. What needs to change for the young filmmakers of Germany and Europe?

The event is held in English.


Friday, 6th of April 2018 // 12 o’clock – 13:15 // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Kleiner Saal

Some like it equal – Gender Equality in Film

Cornelia Köhler, Silke Johanna Räbiger, Bettina Schoeller-Bouju and Frank Döhmann

Host: Dr. Sabrina Wagner


From Hollywood actresses to camera women: unequal wages and treatment of women still seems to pertain the film industry.

The event discusses perspectives and actions of the equalization of women in film and media.

Protagonists this subject area discuss different approaches, explain the current status of things and give a view onto possible developments in the future.


Friday, 6th of April 2018 // 13:30 – 15 o’clock // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Kleiner Saal

Mr. Filmfestival and the current Festival Landscape

Book presentation and debate

Christian Jungen and Tanja C. Krainhöfer

Host: Rüdiger Suchsland

Film festivals today range from big industry events in Berlin or Cannes to the numerous smaller events that are the only chance for publicity for many films. Christian Jungen and Tanja Krainhöfer discuss the state of the festivals and present their works, on the legendary festival-maker Moritz de Hadeln and the current German festival landscape, respectively.


Friday, 6th of April // 14 o’clock – 15:30 // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Großer Saal

What does Television want from Cinema?


Jörg Himstedt, Cornelia Ackers, Robert Bramkamp, Marie Wilke and Dietrich Brüggemann

Moderation: Michael Hack

Television stations in their role as important financiers of films have gained great power, on decisions in film funding as well. At the same time, they have barely any good broadcasting slots for ambitious cinema. The digitalization currently questions old rules. What do they, under these circumstances, expect from cinema films, and what do filmmakers want from the stations?


Friday, 6th of April //16 o’clock – 17:30 // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Großer Saal

The other Cinema: Documentary


Gerhard Wissner, Mischka Pop, Marie Wilke, Thomas Frickel, Daniel Sponsel and more

Host: Johanna Süß

The digital technologies have reshuffled the cards for documentary filmmaking: never could one shoot so easily. A good documentary, however, still usually needs time and personnel for research, shooting and postproduction. Clients and sponsors are not always ready to honor that work, while the fight for broadcasting slots and visibility in cinemas has not become easier.


Friday, 6th of April 2018 // 16 – 17:30 // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Kleiner Saal

Can Film Funding be consistent?

 Lars Henrik Gass and Jascha Alleyne

Host: Florian Krautkrämer

Film funding owes its existence to the wish to compensate the competitive disadvantages of artistic films. In current practices, however, “Quality” only serves to secure economic success. This leads to a complete undermining of the concept of quality. We are generating a report and make considerations for a new model.


Friday, 6th of April 2018 // 18 o’clock – 19:30 // Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus, Großer Saal

Closing Panel: Future German Film

Keynote speech & Talk

Presentation of Congress findings

Ellen M. Harrington, Martin Hagemann, Alfred Holighaus and Claudia Dillmann

Host: Michael Hack

After two days of hard work, we end with the findings and results of the Congress on the Future of German Film: How can film funding, training and film culture in Germany be advanced? The results presented in this closing panel attempt to be concrete calls to action to the film political decisionmakers in Germany.



Which measures can directly aid to correct the imbalances in the system of the German cinema, from training of filmmakers to the financing and funding of films up to their visualization, in cinemas or new distribution channels?

Parallel to the public debates, experts of all parts of the industry work together at roundtables on recommendations for action.


Thursday, 5th of April 2018 & Friday, 6th of April // all day // Zoo- Gesellschaftshaus, Blauer Salon

A Model for the German Film!

Future German Film – that is connected to the question: how do we want to live, how do we want to work? Film culture need a vision for fair production- and working culture. What values connect us, of what do we need more – or less? At the theme wall “Fairness” we want to engage with you and develop ideas for this. Controversial statements open the discussion, but then your input is needed. The theme wall will be visible as an interactive, changing element during the congress.

The theme wall is presented by Crew United, Oliver Zenglein and Christian Dosch will be present on-site.

All information regarding the pre-sale (Film programme and Congress) can be found here.