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HMD Report: Berlin, Germany 2008

HMD Report: Berlin, Germany

From Martin Koerber:

Event Venue: Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen

Event time: 10:00 to 12.00 combined check-in and inspection, 14 to 17.00 Screenings, 19.00 to 21.00 Special Screening of Horst Buchholz:?? Mein Papa at Kino Arsenal.

Total Audience: 30

Number of people bringing films: 9

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 2, Super 8: 6, 16mm: 0, 9.5mm: 0, Video: 1 DVD

Volunteers: Katrin Abromeit, Kerstin Jahn, Andrea Krämer, Vin Lai

Staff: Volkmar Ernst, Katrin Kahlefeld, Martin Koerber, Judith Lehniger, Anna Schierse, Heidi Berit Zapke

Collaborators: Robert van Ackeren, Katharina Zwerenz of Original Version Filmproduktion GmbH

Special events/screenings: in the evening we held a screening of the film ??Horst Buchholz: ??mein Papa?, by Christopher Buchholz and Sandra Hacker, with Christopher present for a Q & A afterwards. In this film about his father (Star of ??Magnificent Seven?, One, Two, Three? and many other classics) home movies were used extensively.

Press (pre-event and post-event): Berliner Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, Zitty, Die Tageszeitung had small articles on the day, Radio Berlin announced the event on the day.

After the huge turnout last summer (over 80 people, many with films had to be turned away because of lack of projection time), we were disappointed be the small number of people who came this time: However, the good news is that all people who came this year were there the year before, so they must have liked it. Having a small number of guests meant also that we could discuss with the individuals much more in depth, which was a positive experience.

Reasons for the low turn-out (apart from the absence of in-depth press coverage, which cannot be expected year after year)we think is the new date in October. October 18th marked the beginning of the autumn holidays – most people take family vacations if they can, a Saturday is usually the day for shopping and sorting out household chores, and in October all museums and other cultural institutions are very busy mounting activities, so the competition is fierce. August was a much better date for Berlin that way, and October 17th for next year would NOT be our day of choice.

Judith Lehniger successfully took the opportunity to approach some filmmakers about footage of the coming down of the Berlin wall, which we are searching for a forthcoming exhibition to commemorate the 20th anniversary of this historic event next year.

Highlights of the program:

A film about the past-time activities of an East Berlin taxi drivers collective; A short subject about the visit of Western relatives in rural East Germany in their Mercedes in the 1980s, which proved to be a sensation for the male family members; A mushroom-seeking expedition in the forests around Potsdam; unidentified black and white footage (found on a fleamarket) of Hamburg in the 1950s; Equally black and white footage of a 1954 visit of West-berliners to their garden in East-Berlin, which became impossible after the wall went up in 1961; A film about the changes in the town of Wismar between 1988 and 1994; Footage of the destruction of beautiful baroque housing in Potsdam 1989, and a demonstration on the wake of the fall of the wall, equally in 1989; A feature film called “Women’s Film”, shot in the 1970s, depicting women dressed as men and displaying male stereotypes in behaviour.

And:

A beautiful abstract study in light shining through coloured glass by Günter Dubiel, who died at 85 only a few weeks before HMD and had been a first-time participant in 2007. His films were subsequently acquired for the collection of our archive.

Prospects: Despite the disappointing turnout, we will forge on and join forces with Kino Arsenal next time, hopefully presenting a full week of Home-Movie related programs before HMD, and thus hopefully creating more awareness. More next year.