Flashback: DEFA Turns 70!

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.


By the time the DEFA Studios were closed in 1990, almost 8,000 documentary, feature, and animation films had been produced. Far from being trapped behind the Wall, East German films were screened around the world and won recognition at important international festivals. International exchanges took place through the film trade, co-productions and international stars.


For DEFA's 70th, we are pleased to announce that we will re-release The Murderers Are among Us with a new digitally restored transfer and new bonus materials. Keep posted for updates!


We invite you to celebrate DEFA's 70th birthday with film screenings at your institution in 2016!

  • DEFA Films are available in all screening formats, including 250 DCPs, and in various language versions. Contact us about rentals!
  • You can curate your own DEFA program! Or, if you need some inspiration, you can choose a program we have put together. To see the options, click on “Series” on our website or search for "DEFA-Stiftung" to see its Google Cultural Institute at www.google.com/culturalinstitute/home.
Need help with programming ideas?

Please contact: 

Hiltrud Schulz

DEFA Film Library


phone: +1 413-545-3565





Need help with rentals?

Please contact:

Joe Keady

DEFA Film Library


phone: +1 413-545-6681


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