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The Development of Camera Technology and Film Art in German Cinematography

35th International Film History Conference

18.- 20.11.2022
Kommunales Kino Metropolis, Kleine Theaterstr. 20354 Hamburg
and online

"Mörderspiel" BRD/FR 1961 Georges Rivière, Harry Meyen, Magali Noël, Götz George (v.l.n.r.)

The camera is both a technical device and an artistic centerpiece of film production. Driven by the dream of capturing moving images that could be viewed again in the future, the technical development of the film camera and all associated technologies (such as film stock, lighting, and digitalization) is a process which started with the first moving images and is still developing today.
Technical innovations enable and inspire new aesthetic developments, and vice-versa. Accompanying this, political developments such as the First and Second World War have also strongly influenced and inspired changes in filming techniques.
German cinematography has long been highly regarded and has influenced filmmakers worldwide, with established German filmmakers traveling abroad and helping to professionalize film production and young filmmakers from other countries perfecting their skills in German studios.
One intertwined aspect is the fate of immigrants and exiles and their influence on their respective countries of exile: for example, Karl Freund, one of the most influential cinematographers of Weimar cinema (DER LETZTE MANN, VARIETÉ) won two Oscars and his technical inventions and innovations had a strong influence on the development of camera work on television in the 1950s. Heinrich Gärtner, whose camera work in entertainment films in Germany in the 1920s was quite popular, developed an important camera school in Franco-Spain as Enrique Guerner – despite intervention from Nazi Germany. Eugen Schüfftan innovated widely used camera techniques in the 1920s and photographed, while in exile in France, some masterpieces of “poetic realism”, but had problems finding work in the USA, because as an exile the cinematographer’s union ASC denied him membership. Otto Heller from Prague worked with Karel Lamač, among others, in Germany in the 1930s, before he went into exile in England in 1939.
Further development of the camera as an artistic tool has been driven in the late 20th and 21st century by the creative minds and technical experimentation of e.g. Guido Seeber, Bruno Mondi (Agfacolor), Michael Ballhaus, Gisela Tuchtenhagen, Roland Dressel, Judith Kaufmann and many others.

cinefest and the 2022 CineGraph Film Conference will explore the wide range of connections and interactions between technology, aesthetics, and politics in the panorama of the 20th and 21st century.


Friday, 18 November

10:00 am – 12:00 am:

Michael Neubauer, Munich: Berufsbild und Arbeitsrealität der Kameraleute im Wandel: Beispiel Deutschland
Axel Block, Munich: Krisen der Kameraarbeit. Einflüsse technischer Innovationen auf die Bildästhetik

1:30pm – 3:45pm

Peter Badel, Berlin: Volkseigenes Cinemascope und 70mm-Film – Ein Zugewinn für narrative und visuelle Erlebnisse im Kino der DDR

Winfried Gerling, Florian Krautkrämer, Potsdam and Luzern: Was ist die (digitale) Kamera?

Saturday, 19 November

10:00am – 12:00am

Thomas Brandlmeier, Munich: Der Expressionismus-Irrtum. Deutscher expressiver Kamerastil und amerikanischer film noir
Ursula von Keitz, Berlin: Zur Interaktion von Kameraarbeit und Szenographie in deutschen Filmen der 1960er Jahre

1:30pm – 3:30pm

Evelyn Hampicke, Berlin: Mit Oberlicht und Untersicht – die „Ostzone“ bewerben. Der ideologisierte Kamerablick im frühen DEFA-Grenz-Krimi

Chris Wahl, Potsdam: Steinerne Wunder, bewegende Bilder – Die »Kunstfilme« von Rudolf Bamberger und Curt Oertel

Sunday, 20 November

10:00am – 12:00am

Imme Klages, Mainz: In their own words. Zum Selbstverständnis des Berufsfeld Kamera im Spiegel der Texte exilierter Kameramänner
Martin Jehle, Marburg: Virtuose Performances und performte Virtuosität – Mythenbildung und Selbstmarketing durch innovative Kameraarbeit von Karl Freund bis Emmanuel Lubezki

1:00pm – 3:45pm

Eleanor Halsall, Southampton: Emil Schünemann: Eine grenzüberschreitende Karriere
Katharina Loew, Boston, MA: Collageästhetik im deutschen Film der 1920er Jahre


Presentations are limited to ca. 20 minutes, followed by a discussion. Conference languages are German or English (no live translation available).

In preparation for the conference and festival, an internal viewing colloquium was held May 12-15, 2022, at the German Historical Museum’s Zeughauskino (May 12, 14, 15) and the Federal Archives (May 13).
cinefest – 19th International Festival of German Film Heritage and the 35th International Film History Conference are organized by CineGraph Hamburg and Bundesarchiv, in close cooperation with numerous international institutions.

Concept: Hans-Michael Bock, Swenja Schiemann, Erika Wottrich
Consulting: Petra Rauschenbach, Axel Block, Jan Distelmeyer, Peter Badel, Michael Neubauer
Organization: Erika Wottrich, Swenja Schiemann
Coordination Bundesarchiv: Daniela Tamm
Technical support: George Riley

With friendly support by

Go West!
Eastern European Filmmakers in Western Europe

34th International Film History Conference

19 – 21 November 2021
Metropolis Cinema and online

Frühlingsstimmen (AT 1933, Paul Fejos) - Source: Deutsche Kinemathek

The 34th International Film History Conference is an integral part of cinefest, where the topics of the festival will be explored in presentations and discussions. The Conference Opening will take place on November 18, 2021 in the Metropolis Cinema. During the event, the winners of the Willy Haas-Award will be presented. The congress lectures will take place from 19-21 November 2021, from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day, also at the Metropolis Cinema, as well as online as a live stream.
Prior accreditation is required for participation.
At 5pm starts the film program at Metropolis cinema.

At cinefest the “2G” rules apply! This means that only vaccinated (Geimpfte) and recovered (Genesene) people are allowed to attend.
Please bring proof of full Corona vaccination or recovery along with your ID/passport when attending the congress on-site.

In recent decades, the fate of Eastern and Central European, Jewish filmmakers who, while working in the German speaking film industry were driven into exile by the Nazi’s racism, has been relatively well researched – not in the least through CineGraph and cinefest. But in addition there are countless filmmakers of all trades from Eastern and Central Europe who worked in Western Europe in the 20th century; whose careers have been far less researched. They migrated not only in reaction to political upheavals (from the “October Revolution” up to the end of the Prague Spring), but also to improve their professional opportunities. Their careers and experiences in the west spanned a diverse spectrum of both success and failure.
One example, Latvian actress Marija Leiko travelled from Riga (then Russian Empire) to Germany, where she became a star in silent film. As sound films became the market standard, her film career ended and she returned to Riga. During the Stalinist terror, she was shot by the NKVD in 1938 (rehabilitated in 1957). Her partner Janis Guters (Johannes Guter), with whom she had come to Berlin, in 1917, directed numerous films in Weimar cinema. He remained in Nazi Germany and ended his film career with a series of “Tran und Helle” propaganda shorts. He died in the GDR in 1962.
After the founding of the Soviet Union, numerous Polish and Ukrainian filmmakers (from the Russian Tsarist Empire) were faced with the choice of either continuing to work under the strong influence of Moscow or go West.
After 1917, Russian set designer and film architect Andrej Andrejev decorated numerous important films in Berlin (THE 3 PENNY OPERA), London, and Paris. After having worked closely with the German occupation company Continental (LE CORBEAU) during World War II, he no longer received commissions in France and went to England (THE MAN BETWEEN) and the Federal Republic of Germany (MADELEINE UND DER LEGIONÄR).
The careers of Czechoslovak filmmakers – e.g. director Karel Anton, producer Miloš Havel, writer & director František Čáp, director Stanislav Barabas or cinematographer Igor Luther – can be used to analyze the film situation under different political conditions between the German Reich, Czechoslovakia, the “Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia” and the Federal Republic of Germany.
The DEFA Stiftung is restoring the oeuvre of Slatan Dudov, including about 10 films, which – just like his career in the Weimar Republic, in France, and in the GDR – will be a focus at cinefest.
At cinefestand the conference we are researching numerous “fractured” careers of filmmakers from Eastern and Central Europe to Western Europe and will present an interesting in-depth cross-section of such largely forgotten filmmakers.


The live stream of the lectures online will take place simultaneously at the times indicated in the program

Keine Veranstaltung gefunden

Concept: Hans-Michael Bock, Swenja Schiemann, Erika Wottrich
Consulting: Petra Rauschenbach, Ralf Schenk, Milan Klepikov, Tereza Czesany Dvořáková, Reká Gulyas
Organization: Erika Wottrich, Swenja Schiemann
Coordination Bundesarchiv: Daniela Tamm
Technical support: George Riley        

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