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Berlin's aura, the famous "Himmel über Berlin", does not only inspire fine artists, musicians and writers, but also filmmakers from all over the world. Veranstaltungen in the field such as the "Berlin International Film Festival", the location of many production companies, numerous programme cinemas and not least the large network of filmmakers here make Berlin into an attractive cinematic metropolis. The film programme, therefore, mainly serves the presentation and mediation of the guests' work. Opportunity is given to establish contacts, show films, formulate film-scripts and screenplays, and – in the most fortunate of cases – this leads to funding and realization of a film project. István Szabó's "Mephisto" and Otar Iosseliani's "La chasse aux papillons" → fig. 1 would not have been made without the filmmakers' stay in Berlin → fig. 2.

Within the strictly commercialized world of film, experimental and avantgarde filmmakers depend on financing by public funds. In the 1980s, this main emphasis of the programme was demonstrated by invitations to trendsetters from the USA such as Paul Sharits, Ken Jacobs, Ernie Gehr and Ken Kobland. Others were documentary and feature film directors like Andrej Tarkovskij and Jim Jarmusch who used Berlin as a basis for their film work.

But Berlin is not only a basis, it is also a source of inspiration for filmmakers who deal with recent history, with societal, cultural and political conditions in their works. The changed situation in Germany after 1989 stimulated Shelly Silver to make her video film "Former East/Former West" in which the artist pursues the latest developments by means of interviews. Jennie Livingston captured her filmic impressions in conversations with Berliners. Patrick Keiller filmed in the border region between Poland and Germany → fig. 3.

Films by guests of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm are presented at the important international festivals such as Cannes (Chen Kaige, István Szabó, Teresa Villaverde), Venice (Otar Iosseliani) and Berlin (Jon Jost, Jim Jarmusch). At the DFFB (German Film and Television Academy Berlin) and at the Kino Arsenal, many of the guests offer seminars whose subjects are their own work and the situation of film in their home country. With his main work, the cult film "Narcissus and Psyche", Gábór Bódy built a bridge between the avantgarde of Eastern and Western Europe and established his video magazine "Infermental" in Berlin.

The series of Veranstaltungen in the film section are concentrated on selected regions and themes: "Films from the USA" showed works by Ken Kobland, Ken Jacobs, Shelly Silver, Dan Eisenberg, Rafal Zielinski and Paul Budnitz; in the series "Das Auge des Wirbelsturms" we saw films from three decades focusing on Berlin; and retrospectives have been dedicated to the film work of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm's former guests → fig. 4.

DAAD Short Film Award at the Berlin International Film Festival
The Artists-in-Berlin Programme of the DAAD has awarded, for the first time in 2006, a prize to a short film, shown at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The DAAD Short Film Award highlights the long-term cooperation with the Berlinale and it comes with a three-month scholarship for the director in Berlin. In 2006 the DAAD Short Film Award was given to the filmmaker Rony Sasson (Israel) for her film „Barburot“ (Swanettes, 16mm, 15 min, Hebrew) .→ fig. 5

Again in 2007, the International Short Film Jury selected an entry from the Short Film Competition to receive the DAAD Short Film Award. This year’s winner was Turkish filmmaker Nesimi Yetik with his film "Annem Sinema Öğreniyor" (My Mother Learns Cinema, 2006, 35mm, 3 min, Turkish) → fig. 6.

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