The Founder's Fund

for Student Researchers

The Founder’s Fund was established in 2018, in honor of the DEFA Film Library’s founding director, Professor Emeritus Barton Byg. Its purpose is to help support research into East German cinema on the part of student scholars in the U.S. and Canada.


Since 2019, two types of  Stipends have been available to student researchers working on East German cinema.


In 2021, we established a NEW Prize for Best Graduate Student Essay for an article-length paper having to do with DEFA films and their production.


Scholarly Essay Award

This annual prize, created in commemoration of the 75th-anniversary of the founding of the DEFA Film Studios, will be awarded for the best graduate student paper on East German cinema submitted for consideration. The prize is accompanied by a $500 cash award. The competition is open to US and international graduate students, including recent graduates (since Jan. 1, 2020). The deadline for submissions is Sept. 1, 2021. See details!


Research Stipends

During its initial three-year phase (2019-2021), $2,000 will be allocated to the Founder’s Fund for research stipends annually. Graduate, undergraduate and high-school students are invited to apply for a stipend to cover DVD rentals. Graduate students may also apply for stipends to help cover costs associated with a research visit to the DEFA Film Library.


Please see the following application guidelines:

Inquiries and applications for Founder's Fund research stipends should be directed to Prof. Mariana Ivanova and Dr. Skyler Arndt-Briggs, the Academic and Executive Directors of the DEFA Film Library, respectively.


NB: If you wish to schedule a visit to the DEFA Film Library, please get in touch as early as possible in your planning process and include “FOUNDER’S FUND” in the subject line of all emails. 

Associated Films:

Associated People:

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