Alexander von Humboldt in the Americas

Join us for two virtual events with Sandra Rebok about the 19th-century Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt!

DEFA Essential Collection
August 30, 2021

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the DEFA Studios, Kanopy is launching the DEFA Essential Collection, featuring 25 newly-restored classics. Take advantage of their special offer starting August 30!

NEW Prize for Best Graduate Student Essay

Extended Deadline: Sept. 10!  This new annual prize will be awarded for the best graduate student paper on East German cinema, along with a cash award of $500 from the Founder’s Fund for Student Researchers.


On May 16, 1946 the founding of the DEFA Studio in the Soviet Occupation Zone got official approval. In 2021, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of this occasion with a wide range of new programs and resources!

The Right-Wing East?

A Film+Talk event March 22-25 that looks at right-wing tendencies and trends in (East) Germany, then and now. REGISTER NOW!



Our Teaching Guide for Our Children (1989, Roland Steiner), developed by Katrin Bahr (Centre College) and Mariana Ivanova (UMass Amherst).


Welcome to FILMBOX, our free Digital Teaching Archive on Vimeo that is perfect for teachers, students and programmers!


Black Lives in Germany
Reframing Diversity in German Cinema

EVENT II - November 5, 2020. A discussion with director Sheri Hagen and hosts Rosemarie Peña and Kevina King about reframing diversity in German cinema and Hagen's film At Second Glance.

Black Lives in Germany
Audre Lorde, May Ayim and the Black German Movement

Event I - October 22, 2020. Audre Lorde, May Ayim and the Black German Movement. A webinar discussion with director Dagmar Schultz and author Ika Hügel-Marshall. Moderated by Sara Lennox and hosted by curator Kevina King (both UMass Amherst).

Black Lives in Germany
Performance and History

PERFORMANCE & HISTORY. Event V - April 8, 2021. A webinar discussion with actor and director Lara-Sophie Milagro and dancer and poet Lauren Cox. Moderated by Dr. Jamele Watkins (UMN).

Black Lives in Germany
Black Stories and Diaspora

BLACK STORIES & DIASPORA. Event IV - March 11, 2021. REGISTER NOW! A virtual discussion with director Branwen Okpako about The Education of Auma Obama and her other films, representing 20 years of filming stories about Black German lives and experiences. Moderated by historian Tiffany N. Florvil.

Black Lives in Germany
Black Spaces / Black Voices

BLACK SPACES / BLACK VOICES. Event III - Feb. 11, 2021. A virtual discussion with well-known actor and founder of Panthertainment, Tyron Ricketts, and filmmaker Denise Ekale Kum. Moderated by activist Jeff Kwasi Klein.


Though DVDs will no longer arrive by Christmas... if you're still looking for presents, see our new releases in our Store or take a look at this video preview!

Celebrate Beethoven’s Birthday!

2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great German composer Ludwig van Beethoven. An untiring compositional innovator, Beethoven was a crucial figure in the transition from the classical to the romantic era in classical music. Afflicted with increasing deafness as of his early 30s, he was also a difficult person and suffered personal and social hardships.


DEFA Film Library Endowment

In February 2019, Founding Director Barton Byg officially established the DEFA Film Library Endowment, as a means to support and enhance the mission and activities of the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst. In March 2019, he shared some of his thoughts on this important step.

Art & Power: Lutz Dammbeck

In September 2019, German director and media artist Lutz Dammbeck will be our artist-in-residence guest and tour the USA with 18 of his documentaries and animation films, which we will make available for rental and educational streaming. Art & Power: Lutz Dammbeck is part of the Deutschlandjahr USA program.

Screened Encounters
September 2018

We are pleased to announce the publication of the first volume of our new book series on Film and the Global Cold War



The first major solo exhibition in the U.S. by German graphic artist Anke Feuchtenberger. Curated by UMass MFA student Bibiana Medkova, selected works by Feuchtenberger was on display at the Olver Design Building at UMass Amherst from June 26 through July 13, 2018.


DEFA Film Library turns 25!

We’d like to celebrate our 25th anniversary with you! PLEASE JOIN US! The first 25 people to contact us about screening one of our films at their cinema, cultural institution, university or college in 2018 will get 25% off our regular screening fee!

SCMS 2016 Atlanta
2016, Goethe Zentrum Atlanta

In the GDR social satire When You're Older, Dear Adam, a boy finds a flashlight that makes people float when they lie. Goethe Zentrum Atlanta hosted this DVD premiere during the 2016 SCMS conference.

Angel Wagenstein Duo
2017, New York Jewish Film Festival

Screenwriter and novelist Angel Wagenstein is the link between two films to be screened by the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, the DEFA Film Library and Amherst Cinema, April 11-12, 2018. 

21 Restored Films: Now on DCP
2016, DEFA Film Library, UMass Amherst

As efforts to restore classic DEFA films are in full swing at the DEFA Foundation in Berlin, our collection of restored titles on DCP is keeping up with the newest movie theater technology!

Germany 66: Cinema East / West
2016, Museum of Modern Art, New York

From April 5-16, 2016, the Museum of Modern Art in NYC screened films released in 1966 in both East and West Germany. Four DEFA films were part of this  series that compared different cinematic responses to national and international events and topics.


Flashback: DEFA Turns 70!
2016, DEFA Film Library, UMass Amherst

On May 17, 1946, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany granted a license to the DEFA (Deutsche Film-AG) Studio for the production of films. Only five months later the first DEFA film, The Murderers Are among Us (dir. Wolfgang Staudte), premiered in Berlin and won international recognition—the first German film made after WWII.


Gerd Kroske: Drawing a Line
2015, Amherst Cinema Center

On Dec. 13, 2015, director Gerd Kroske presented the US premiere of his film Drawing a Line at Amherst Cinema. 

2016, Museum of Modern Art, New York

The long-awaited restoration of Heiner Carow’s The Russians Are Coming (1968/87) was screened as part of the Musuem of Modern Art festival To Save and Project on November 3 and 7, 2016.

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