Information About The Project

The research project „Geschichte des dokumentarischen Films in Deutschland 1945 – 2005“ (History Of The Documentary Film In Germany, 1945-2005)

Writing a history of documentary film in Germany from 1945 until today: this was the ambitious undertaking of film and media scholars at Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF (Potsdam), Hamburg university and the “Haus des Dokumentarfilms” (House of Documentary Film) in Stuttgart. Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG (German Research Foundation), the project used a broad range of approaches to the history of German documentary film. Following a “New Film History” approach the project members and associated authors sifted documents, films, magazines and festivals catalogues and comprehensively examined technological, ideological and social conditions of documentary filmmaking in Eastern and Western Germany as well as its formal and aesthetic manifestations. 

After a pilot phase, the research project lasted from 2012 bis 2018. With a budget of around 2,5 Mio. Euro it represented the largest project in the field of German Film Studies at the time. The project was jointly headed by Prof. Dr. Ursula von Keitz (Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, Potsdam), Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber (Universität Hamburg) and Dr. Kay Hoffmann (Haus des Dokumentarfilms, Stuttgart). For a complete (German) overview over the team members: click here.

The broad range of films examined, which spans from sex education film to industrial films or from long-term documentation to experimental essay films, is reflected in an extensive database of around 15,000 titles, which can be found under the domain http://db.dokumentarfilmgeschichte.de (click here for more information on how to use the database), as well as an upcoming three-volume anthology. For a list of the articles and books published during the project: click here.