The DEFA Film Library offers a range of services to researchers, teachers, producers and film programmers, as well as the general public.

Film Rentals: We are pleased to make the films in our circulating collections available for research purposes, as well as for classroom and non-commercial public screenings. Please see details for rental of films on DVD, 16mm and 35mm under FILM RENTALS.

For Researchers: We are happy to provide limited consultation to researchers over the phone and by email. For more in-depth consultation and/or larger projects, we recommend that researchers plan to visit to the DEFA Film Library in person. We are glad to help research visitors access the films and print materials in our FILM COLLECTIONS and FILM JOURNALS COLLECTION. In order for us to best accommodate you, please contact us well in advance of your planned visit at

Support for Student Researchers:  THE FOUNDER'S FUND, established in honor of retired founding director Barton Byg, aims to support the work of student researchers interested in East German cinema and DEFA Film Library collections. Its purpose is to help support research into East German cinema on the part of student scholars in the U.S. and Canada. During its initial three-year phase (2019-2021), $2,000 will be allocated to the Founder’s Fund annually. Graduate, undergraduate and high-school students are invited to apply for stipends to help cover costs associated with DVD rentals and/or research visits to the DEFA Film Library.

For Teachers: In order to help college and university instructors new to the topic integrate East German cinema into their teaching, over the years a range of teachers have generously donated examples of course syllabi that focus on DEFA or incorporate it into courses addressing broader themes. Links to these are available on this website under TEACHING MATERIALS.

The DEFA Film Library also regularly organizes visiting Filmmaker’s Tours, which bring directors and scriptwriters to college campuses and cultural centers around the U.S. and Canada. Once the tour itself is over, the collection of films may still be rented for screening. For details, please see listings for Filmmaker’s film series under SERIES.

From time to time, the DEFA Film Library has also worked with the American and Canadian Associations of Teachers of German (AATG and CATG) to develop teaching materials and conduct workshops addressing the use of film in German language instruction, at both the high school and college level. If you would be interested in collaborating on such a project, please contact us at

For Producers: In addition to aiding filmmakers access materials needed for their projects, the DEFA Film Library offers subtitling services from German and/or French into English. For more information, please see SUBTITLING.

For Film Programmers: The DEFA Film Library has developed a range of film series, including retrospectives, thematic series and series that focus on the work of a given filmmaker or author (see above). A complete listing of all the film series available for booking can be seen under SERIES. In addition, we are happy to collaborators with programmers to develop new film series; a recent example of this is the AWARDED! thematic film series, which was developed in collaboration with the Goethe Institut and Gene Siskel Film Center and which premiered in Chicago in spring 2013.

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