Wir über uns
For more than 30 years, the non-profit association Filmhaus Frankfurt e.V. has been contributing to the establishment and visibility of Frankfurt's film scene through information and training events on film and media practice, our promotion of cooperation between filmmakers and institutions of the independent cultural scene, and the provision of suitable premises and film technology equipment. In order to achieve our goals, the association is institutionally supported by the Cultural Office of the City of Frankfurt.
"The purpose of the association is to promote the use of audiovisual media in society," is the general statement in the statutes of Filmhaus Frankfurt e.V. adopted at the founding meeting on December 11, 1989. The association was founded by filmmakers at a time when state film funding and internal university training programs were still sparse, which is why the filmmakers relied on self-help, so to speak. Since June 2016, the office has been located in a prominent location at Fahrgasse 89 on the 4th floor, consisting of two offices, two event rooms and two editing suites, which, like the available film and sound equipment, can be rented out at low rates. The information events, multi-day seminars and workshops cover the essential trades of filmmaking, from script development, production preparation to production management to lighting design and sound editing. Analog film production, green shooting and web series are also covered. The seminar program is aimed at established filmmakers, but also at university students and interested private individuals, which gives the association an important role in the promotion of young filmmakers, which seems more important today than ever before. Twice a year, the association publishes the trade magazine GRIP, which has been sent to members and film enthusiasts since 1992 and reports on current developments in the areas of film promotion and production, festivals and cinemas in the Rhine-Main region. The association also participates in the organization of numerous local film festivals, first and foremost the youth media festival visionale, which, in cooperation with other institutions from the media and youth work sector, has grown into a renowned festival for young filmmakers. Finally, the association has always represented the interests of regional filmmakers before the bodies of cultural policy and film funding, for example as one of the members of the Initiative Hessen Film.
The history of the Filmhaus Frankfurt e.V.
The founding assembly met on December 11, 1989 and adopted the statutes, which have been amended only slightly since then. The entry in the register of associations (VR 9465) took place on February 2, 1990; the recognition of non-profit status followed shortly thereafter. The founding initiative consisted of about 30 people from the Frankfurt and Hessian film scene, most of whom came from the Filmbüro Hessen (today: Film- und Kinobüro Hessen), which at the time was striving to establish a sustainable structure for cultural film promotion. The committed authors, producers and directors specifically modeled themselves on the Filmhaus in Hamburg in order to set up such a Filmhaus building in Frankfurt as well, and in doing so to carry out concrete film development work with a focus on the local film scene. The association currently consists of almost 100 members, some companies pay a higher contribution. Numerous members have accompanied the association since its founding and are actively involved in the association's work, giving seminars, sharing contacts, technical and theoretical knowledge. New committed members are always welcome. A board of three members is responsible for oversight of the association, currently media lawyer Guido Hettinger (since December 2005), producer Yvonne Wassong (since June 2021) and production manager Andrea Simml (since June 2021). The office consists of a managing director, two permanent employees, one freelancer and one volunteer. Bruno Schneider (1990-1992; in 1990 partly represented by Christiane von Wahlert), Ernst Szebedits (1992-1998) and Ralph Förg (1998-2019) managed the affairs of the association in the past; on Jan. 1, 2020, Dr. Felix Fischl took over the management. In the early years, the association's management was supported by a board of trustees, which included well-known representatives of film production, culture and science such as Hilmar Hoffmann, Heide Schlüpmann and Helmut Herbst.
The Filmhaus has helped to develop institutions and services that are indispensable today, including the Jour Fixe of the Hessian film industry, the Round Table and the Location Tours for producers, the Film Commission Hessen and the Hessian Film and Media Academy hFMA. The members of the Filmhaus also supported the economic film subsidy introduced in Hessen in 2002, as well as all steps on the way to the reform of film subsidies and the establishment of today's HessenFilm und Medien GmbH. To honor its long-standing services as a driving force and platform for domestic filmmaking, the City of Frankfurt hosted a reception in its Kaisersaal in the Römer (city hall) on December 17, 2019.
The practical film seminars for training and further education have been a core element of Filmhaus work since 1990. The rapidly changing media landscape over the last decades as well as the improved orientation of the local film schools have changed the range of seminars, but have by no means made them obsolete. The Filmhaus sees itself as a low-cost training venue, offering niche topics for specialists and providing exploratory opportunities for the next generation of filmmakers. Reduced prices apply for students; each participant receives a certificate of attendance.
The seminar program for the next six months as well as reports, news and portraits are included in the trade magazine GRIP of which back issues are available online. The association was also responsible for the industry magazine "Filmland Hessen" (2006-2015, 2x annually, sponsored by the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art), HR broadcasting slots for Hessian short films (1992-1993), film productions such as the compilation realized by Frankfurt filmmakers "15 x 3 or 6000 Frankfurt" (1990, 48 min, 16mm), "Hobby Shopping" (2002, 29 min., DV) and "Freudenhaus" (2001, 6 min., 35mm; together with Bundesverband Jugend und Film), the DVD "Wagnis, Wahn und Wirklichkeit" (2005), the "Handbuch für Film, Fernsehen und neue Medien" (1992) and the "Film- und Medienhandbuch Hessen" (2000).
The association is involved in numerous local film festivals, whether as a co-organizer with regard to content, as in the case of visionale (since 2001) and Imagine - Intercultural Future Workshop for Young Women (since 2021; funded by the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration and the Women's Department of the City of Frankfurt am Main), a comprehensive workshop offering on filmmaking for girls and young women, or through minor financial or personnel support, as in the case of the Turkish Film Festival (since 2003), Africa Alive (since 2014), Cuba in Film (since 2002), Lichter - Filmfest Frankfurt International (since 2009) and Werkstatt der jungen Filmszene (since 2001). It has realized its own film events in the form of the Frankfurt Screenings (2004-2006) and the literary film festival CLiC - Celebrating Literature in Cinema (2003-2004), among others.
The Filmhaus has already welcomed film and cultural professionals in various locations: the founding initiative first met in the premises of the Film Office at Schweizer Straße 6 (1988-1990), before moving into its first official domicile with two offices at Kaiserstr. 39 (1990-1993). This was followed by Hamburger Allee 45 (1993-1998), Schützenstr. 12 (1998-2007), Ostbahnhofstr. 15 (2007-2016) and finally Fahrgasse 89 (since June 2016) as locations, where it shares an office floor with the institutions Bundesverband Jugend und Film, Bundesverband Kommunale Filmarbeit and Film- und Kinobüro Hessen; the Medienzentrum Frankfurt is located in the same building on the 2nd floor. To this day, there is a close partnership with like-minded film cultural associations in the form of shared offices. The Filmhaus makes its own rooms available to various initiatives, festivals, associations and societies for meeting purposes. Numerous institutions, such as Pro Quote Film, use or have used the Filmhaus as a meeting place.
However, the desire for a building of its own, which existed from the beginning, remains unfulfilled so far. The planned takeover of premises in the former electricity plant in Bockenheim (Boschfabrik), which – according to firm plans – was to be occupied jointly by the Filmhaus and visual artists and, in addition to offices, was also to contain viewing rooms and a cinema, failed in 1990 due to a lack of funds on the part of the city. The location at Hanauer Landstr. 54 in 2006 was also denied to the association.
Together with members of like-minded associations and institutions, to this day Filmhaus Frankfurt continues to call for an independent property with production offices, editing suites, viewing and event rooms to better carry out industry and young talent promotion.