Film Archive

Film archive and distribution, Wiesbaden

The film archive’s central mission is the collection, preservation and restoration of films. Film, as media memory and as a component of our cultural legacy, is thus not merely archived, but also made accessible to the public in its original materiality and presentation format through distribution.

The 20,000 or so works of film in the archive include not only features, shorts and documentaries but also amateur and experimental films. Within the collection may be found early films, German avantgarde films of the 1920s and 1930s, classics of Weimar Republic cinema, the New German Cinema and the European auteur cinema.

The collection of historical German pre-1945 films is internationally prominent, as are the holdings in the field of animated films, with works by Lotte Reiniger, Oskar Fischinger and the Diehl brothers. There is special emphasis on advertising and industrial films.

Over 5,000 advertising films made in the German Federal Republic are available, thanks to the collection of the Munich company Insel-Film. The works in the collection are not only those in the classic 35mm and 16mm formats, but also those in the 8mm, 9.5mm and 17.5mm amateur gauges. Additionally, there are titles in the rare 28mm format, in the 70mm widescreen format and various video and digital formats.

Through acquisitions and gifts, as well as through storage, deposit and cooperation agreements with filmmakers, production and distribution companies, collectors and private individuals, the holdings are constantly being expanded.

The film archive is located in spacious premises in Biebrich, in the city of Wiesbaden. Offices and viewing rooms for research purposes are at the disposal of both professional colleagues and academic and private users. An air-conditioned film vault with controlled humidity and temperature guarantees optimal storage for the various film materials.


Filmrollen im Archiv

For further information please contact

Michael Schurig
Tel.: +49 (0)611 9700 012
Fax: +49 (0)611 9700 015

Anke Mebold (Resoration)
Tel.: +49 (0)611 9700 016
Fax: +49 (0)611 9700 015




The Deutsches Filminstitut regularly undertakes extensive film restoration projects, both analogue and digital. These have included HAMLET (G 1920/21) with Asta Nielsen and DIE HOCHBAHNKATASTROPHE (THE ELEVATED TRAIN DISASTER) (G 1921) by Valy Arnheim. Months of work, including philological research and a hunt for further materials held by members of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), often precede the reappearance of a historical film on the screen in renewed glory.


Mitarbeiter im Filmarchiv

Films should not only be kept, they should also be shown. Therefore, a significant part of the holdings is available for international distribution. Cinemas, festivals and cultural event managers may now choose from about 6,500 titles, ranging from the silent era to current productions. These include German classics like NOSFERATU (G 1922) or METROPOLIS (G 1927), as well both local and foreign titles such as HIGH NOON (USA 1952), SISSI (AT 1955) or WIR WUNDERKINDER (AREN’T WE WONDERFUL?) (G 1958).

© 2019 Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum - International