Since 1997, the DEFA Film Library has developed four types of film series featuring East German and related films: Thematic Series, Filmmaker’s Series, Retrospectives and GSA Film Series.

All our series are available to be booked for screenings at cultural or educational institutions in the U.S. and Canada; they also provide helpful suggestions for film groupings that may be adapted for course syllabi, film festivals and other educational and cultural events. To book part or all of one of our film series, please contact us at

Filmmakers’ Series: DEFA Film Library Filmmaker’s Series are developed on the occasion of inviting a given filmmaker to visit and often tour North America with his or her films. Such tours enable individual directors and scriptwriters to showcase their work through film screenings, speaking engagements and working with students as artists-in-residence. To see whether an upcoming Filmmaker’s Tour is currently being planned, please look under NEWS on our homepage or contact us at

Thematic Series: DEFA Film Library Thematic Film Series group together films that present diverse, yet complementary perspectives on a specific cultural or historical topic. Some have enjoyed premieres at prestigious venues, such as the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (WENDE Flicks) or the Gene Siskel Film Center (AWARDED!). Some have enjoyed multiple festival screenings (Shadows and Sojourners). And some—such as Berlin, Divided Heaven, REEL Women in East Germany and Made in West|East Germany—include catalogues that suggest ways to mix-and-match films to meet the needs of given teachers and programmers.

Retrospectives: DEFA Film Library Retrospective Film Series are designed to give an overview of East German cinema. The first of these—The Cinema of East Germany—focused on films that were the best known of the DEFA canon. The Rebels with a Cause retrospective—which premiered at The Museum of Modern Art and was co-curated by specialists at MoMA and the Goethe Institut New York—took a fresh look at the canon on beautiful, new 35mm prints.

GSA Film Series: Since fall 2004, the DEFA Film Library has hosted a German film festival at the annual conference of the German Studies Association. These often feature new releases or the work of visiting filmmakers.

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