Film still for "Zille und Ick"


The DEFA Foundation’s holdings are available through the following institutions:


DEFA Film Library
504 Herter Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
161 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003
phone: +1 413 545-6681


The DEFA Film Library was founded on September 23, 1993 in Amherst. The University of Massachusetts Amherst co-founded the institution with its home base in the German Studies Department. DFL is regarded as the world’s only archive and research center outside Germany that is committed to the cinematic heritage of East Germany.

In October 2013, the DEFA Film Library acquired the exclusive cinema exploitation rights of the DEFA film stock in the United States and Canada. It also offers non-exclusive screenings of DEFA films to Goethe-Institutes. DFL also produces and distributes films on DVD with English subtitles for the North American market.

Footage Service

Große Brauhausstraße 8
06108 Halle (Saale)

phone: +49 30 323 060-13

PROGRESS is the exclusive commercial evaluator in the field of footage service. The online platform  offers digital access to the cinema heritage of the GDR for research and viewing purposes. By 2023, the DEFA film heritage will be completely entered on the platform.


Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek
Potsdamer Straße 2
10785 Berlin

phone: +49 30 300903-634

Film Research: 

In addition to numerous other functions, the Deutsche Kinemathek is a foundation responsible for the worldwide commercial and non-commercial evaluation of the  DEFA Foundation’s film stock, and it contracts licenses for cinema screenings.


Finckensteinallee 63
12205 Berlin

phone: +49 30 187770-0


The Film Archive at the German Federal Archives houses the complete stock of DEFA films. Material is available for internal use for academic purposes and viewings only after prior registration. Commercial and non-commercial uses are only possible with the consent of the copyright holder.

Die Filmsammlung wird ergänzt durch umfangreiches Filmbegleitmaterial wie Plakate, Fotos und Presseartikel.

Pre-research can be done using the Federal Archive website. Requests to access materials must be made in writing.

Materials Related to DEFA Films (Selection)

  • Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
    Marlene-Dietrich-Allee 11
    14482 Potsdam
    Tel.: +49 331 62024-13


    The most extensive collection of publications (books, DEFA scripts, magazines, newspaper clippings) related to the GDR film industry, the history of DEFA films (in general), reviews of individual DEFA films (complete coverage of feature films after 1946), the development of the DEFA Studios, and film biographical material on, for example, authors, directors, cinematographers, and actors.

    The complete collection of film and media literature published in the GDR is housed in the Film University’s library.

  • Filmmuseum Potsdam
    Marstall am Lustgarten (Breite Straße 1a)
    14467 Potsdam

    Tel.: +49 331 27181-0


    The Filmmuseum Potsdam has an extensive archive:

    Filmmuseum Potsdam Archiv
    Pappelallee 20
    14469 Potsdam

    Tel.: +49 331 56704-0


    The most extensive collection of production and costume designs; a collection of scripts; an extensive photo collection; ante- and premortem estate bequests from select DEFA filmmakers (Helmut and Werner Bergmann, Frank Beyer, Richard Groschopp, Harry Hindemith, Rolf Losansky, Petra Tschörtner, Albert Wilkening, and others); audio recordings of conversations with DEFA filmmakers; records from the Association of Film- and Television professionals; episodic records from film companies.

  • Deutsches Institut für Animationsfilm
    Königstraße 15
    01097 Dresden

    Tel.: +49 - 351 - 3 11 90 41


    A collection of museum items from the operations of the DEFA Studio for Animated Films; literature on animation filmmaking in the GDR; a collection of animated films and accompanying materials.

Written records on DEFA History

  • Stiftung Archiv der Akademie der Künste
    Robert-Koch-Platz 10
    10115 Berlin

    Tel.: +49 30 20057-3255


    Personal archives, estate bequests, partial collections, etc. from Kurt Maetzig, Slatan Dudow, Erwin Geschonneck, Konrad Wolf, Alfred Hirschmeier, Ernst Busch, Curt Trepte, Michael Tschesno-Hell, Gustav von Wangenheim, Peter Edel, Paul Dessau, Hanns Eisler, Heiner Carow, Gerhard Klein, Hans-Erich Korbschmidt, Siegried Kühn, Ulrich Plenzdorf, Konrad Petzold, Herrmann Zschoche

  • Filmmuseum Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf
    Schulstraße 4
    40213 Düsseldorf

    Tel.: +49 211 89922-32


    Nachlass Wolfgang Staudte

  • Filmverleih/Filmarchiv des Deutschen Filminstituts
    Friedrich-Berguis-Straße 5
    65203 Wiesbaden

    Tel.: +49 611 97000-12


  • Filmmuseum München
    St.-Jakobs-Platz 1
    80331 München

    Tel.: +49 89 233-22370
    Fax: +49 89 233-25033


  • Moving Image Database for Access and Re-use of European Film Collections

    The MIDAS Project’s objective is to make documentary films that are part of Europe’s cultural heritage easier to find. The online portal was established February 2007 and has already grown to 15,000 films. In addition to filmographic data and summaries, it also lists information about film copies. The project is headed by the Deutsches Filminstitut in Frankfurt. There are currently 18 archives involved in the project, including, among others, the Film Archive at the German Federal Archives, the British Film Institute, the Czech National Film Archive, the Cineteca di Bologna, and the DEFA Foundation. The project has been made possible with the support of the MEDIA Plus programme of the European Community.

    Access the database under

    For more information about Filmarchives Online and the MIDAS Project, please contact:

    Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF
    Julia Welter
    Schaumainkai 41
    60596 Frankfurt/Main
    Tel.: +49 69 961220-403
    Fax: +49 69 961220-999

    Contact details for the archive are available at: 

Information in the Internet


    filmportal is regarded as the central internet platform for German film and is a division of Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF. There you will find information for more than 102,500 films  and 205,000 individuals . Under the category BESTANDSKATALOG , users can research a wide variety of screening material related to German films, including DEFA films.


    California author Jim Morton’s blog (in English) is dedicated to DEFA films and includes detailed descriptions and analyses.

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