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33rd International Film History Conference

Cinema, War, and Tulips
German-Dutch Film Relations

Announcement and Call for Papers


18 - 21 November 2020
at the University Guest House (Rothenbaumchausse 34)

Sad Movie: Tulips
Sad Movies: Tulips (1966)
Source: Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam

When it comes to football, the Netherlands and Germany are seen to be old rivals, but in terms of film studies, the neighbors have seldom been seen together. This juxtaposition offers us the opportunity to look into the connections between them in film history, including production, people involved and how films were received. As always, this comparative balance between clichés and reality, is an important part of the XVII. cinefest – International Festival of German Film Heritage.
Due to the popularity of German films in the Netherlands as early as the 1910s, many copies of early German cinema have survived in Collections such as that of distributor Jean Desmet, preserved by the EYE Film Museum. Through film collections like Huis Doorn, we have a more detailed picture of the exile of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Also important were the close connections between avant-garde and documentary filmmakers in Berlin and Amsterdam (Joris Ivens, Hans Richter, Walther Ruttmann) around 1930.
In the 1920s and 30s, many Dutch filmmakers worked in German studios or produced German-Dutch co-productions. Popular German Stars such as Adele Sandrock, Lil Dagover and Ilse Werner had roots in the Netherlands and its colonies. Dutch celebrities romped around in the studios in Berlin and Babelsberg (Truus van Aalten, Johannes Heesters, Lien Deyers, Frits van Dongen). For some filmmakers, Amsterdam was a first stop in their exile from Germany, e.g. for Richard Oswald with BLEEKE BET, Hermann Kosterlitz/Henry Koster with DE KRIBBEBIJTER and Detlef Sierck/Douglas Sirk with BOEFJE. A majority of the films were made in Cinetone Studios (which became the Ufa film studios in Amsterdam during the Second World War). Director Ludwig Berger made one of the best Dutch films with ERGENS IN NEDERLAND – completed one month before the German invasion in 1940 and survived the German occupation in Amsterdam. German producer Rudi Meyer was also a key figure in Dutch film production between the 1930s and 60s.
Similarities in the relationship of Dutch and Czechoslovak film production under German occupation will also be looked into at the festival. One example of this happened during World War II, when Disney fans Hitler and Goebbels wanted to have their own German cartoon production and used production studios and staff in Prague and Amsterdam to produce German cartoons.
After the war, life in the Netherlands under German occupation was the subject of numerous feature films, although both the method of depiction and perspective changed over the years.
In the 1960’s, many of the people who created and influenced New German Cinema were Dutch, including producers Rob Houwer and Laurens Straub, and cinematographers Robby Müller and Gérard Vandenberg. Actors like Renée Soutendijk and Chiem van Houweninge became stars in West German film and television. Dutch documentary filmmakers such as Joris Ivens and Joop Huisken and actress Cox Habbema also worked in the GDR.

The 33rd International Conference of German Film Heritage is an integral part of the festival, where the topics of the festival will be explored in presentations and discussions. The Conference Opening will take place on November 18, 2020 in the Metropolis Cinema. The Conference is from November 19-21 2020 from 9:30am to 4pm at the Hamburg University Guesthouse.

Possible Topics for the conference are:
– Careers of Dutch filmmakers in Germany
– Careers of German filmmakers in the Netherlands
– The Netherlands as an exile for filmmakers during the Third Reich
– German-Dutch co-productions
– Distribution history
– Reception history
– production history
– Studio history (e.g. Holland-Atelier)
– Comparison of different language versions (MLV), e.g. CISKE (Wolfgang Staudte), ALLEMAN (Bert Haanstra)
– Cross-media topics (e.g. film and literature / theater / painting)
– the balance between documentation and clichés when presenting your own country or another country in film
– Avant-garde, animated and documentary film (Filmliga Amsterdam)
– The work of Dutch filmmakers in the GDR

Any further suggestions are welcome.

Presentations are limited to ca. 20 minutes, followed by a discussion. Conference languages are German or English. (no live translation available) Presenters will receive a free accreditation to the conference, which also entitles them to attend festival film screenings from 18-22 November, as well as the festival catalogue. As always, we will do our best to support presenters from out of town with a travel fund.
Following the conference, presentations will be published in a book published by text+kritik in Autumn 2021 (deadline for the articles: January 15, 2021).

You are welcome to send suggestions for presentations in the form of an abstract (about 1500 characters) and a short biography to Deadline is the 1st of June 2020.

cinefest - 17th International Festival of German Film Heritage and the 33rd International Film History Conference are organized by CineGraph Hamburg and Bundesarchiv, in close cooperation with Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, and the support and collaboration of numerous international institutions.

For more information, please contact:
CineGraph e.V., Schillerstr. 43, D - 22767 Hamburg
Tel.: +49-(0)40-352194 / Fax: +49-(0)40-345864
email: kongress(at)

31st International Film History Conference (to the archive)
30th International Film History Conference (to the archive)
29th International Film History Conference (to the archive)
28th International Film History Conference (to the archive)
27th International Film History Conference (to the archive)
26th International Film History Conference (to the archive)
25th International Film History Conference (to the archive)
24th International Film History Conference (to the archive)
23rd International Film History Conference (to the archive)
22nd International Film History Conference (to the archive)
21st International Film History Conference (to the archive)
20th International Film History Conference (to the archive)
19th International Film History Confernce (to the archive)
18th International Film History Conference (to the archive)

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CfP: 33rd International Film History Conference

Call for Papers