The central tasks of the Film Archive are the collection, preservation and restoration of films. The approximately 20,000 films in the archive include feature films, short films and documentaries, as well as amateur and experimental films. The collection includes films from early cinema, the German avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s, classics from the cinema of the Weimar Republic, the New German Cinema and European auteur cinema.
The DFF’s collection of historical German films before 1945 is of international importance. The same applies to the animation collection, with works by Lotte Reiniger, Oskar Fischinger and the Diehl brothers. A special focus of the DFF archive is advertising and industrial films. The collection of the Munich production company Insel Film, for example, comprises more than 5,000 advertising films from the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The DFF’s film holdings include not only works in the classic 35mm and 16mm cinema formats, but also amateur film formats such as 8mm, 9.5mm or 17.5mm. In addition, there are films in the rare 28mm format, the wide-screen 70mm format, and various video and digital formats.
The collection continues to grow through purchases, deposits, donations, and collaborations with filmmakers, production and distribution companies, collectors, and private individuals.
The DFF regularly restores films in a complex analog and digital process. Restoration projects include HAMLET (D 1920/21) with Asta Nielsen and DIE HOCHBAHNKATASTROPHE (D 1921) by Valy Arnheim.
A significant portion of the DFF’s holdings is available for international distribution, as films should not only be preserved, but also shown. Some 6,500 titles from the silent era to the latest productions are available to cinemas, festivals and similar institutions. These include German classics such as NOSFERATU (D 1922) or METROPOLIS (D 1927), as well as domestic and foreign titles such as HIGH NOON (USA 1952), SISSI (AT 1955) or WIR WUNDERKINDER (D 1958). The distribution program is continuously extended.
The film archive is located in Wiesbaden-Biebrich. It is open to researchers and private users by appointment.
In the DFF’s podcast “Everything is Film,” staff members offer insights into the film archive (in German):
Research: Viewing analog films on site
Please contact us by phone for appointments at our archive in Wiesbaden.
Researchers, students and private individuals may view films in our archive at the following rates:
Commercial viewing: 30 Euro per hour or part thereof
Private viewing: 15 Euro per hour or part thereof
Scientific viewing: 10 Euros per hour or part thereof
Students with valid student card: 5 Euro per hour or part thereof.
We kindly ask you to contact us by phone to make an appointment.