Film still from "Bockshorn" (© DEFA Film Library) which was partly shot in the U.S. and co-produced by Manfred Durniok.
Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a conversation between the independent film curator, Tobias Hering, and Mariana Ivanova, Academic Director of the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst about "Great Expectations: Films as Cultural Mediators between East Germany and the U.S."
The first larger showcase of films from East Germany in the U.S.A. took place only after diplomatic relations had officially been established between the two countries in 1974. Yet various forms of film relations had already existed since the 1950s, on a personal as well as on an institutional level. Such relations fed on the motivation and perseverance of individuals on both sides of the Iron Curtain and required finesse and mettle in skirting the demarcations of official politics.
In this conversation, Mariana Ivanova and Tobias Hering will discuss their ongoing study of the GDR’s international film relations. What made West German film producers Erich Mehl and Manfred Durniok, German-Jewish émigré Marta Feuchtwanger, American film historian Jay Leyda, or renegade filmmaker Emile de Antonio turn against the odds of Cold War politics and become what could be called cultural mediators?
As part of his current research on U.S.-GDR film relations, Tobias Hering will also present curated film programs at the Lightbox Film Center in Philadelphia (Oct. 6) and Anthology Film Archives (Oct. 9).
Please RSVP here.
This event will take place at 42 Washington Mews. This semester, based on NYU's guidelines, in-person events will be open to members of the general public.
Attendance instructions for NYU faculty, students and staff: Please show your NYU Violet Go Pass at the door.
Attendance instructions for members of the general public:
• Members of the general public must show a valid government-issued photo ID
• Members of the general public must show proof of being up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccination, which includes the booster when eligible, with an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed vaccine. (Ideally, you would bring your CDC vaccination card or the details on Excelsior Pass Plus.)
Documentation for members of the general public will be checked at the door and must include:
◦ Dates of doses
◦ Vaccine manufacture for each dose
◦ Documentation is in English
• Vaccine exemption requests are not accepted at the door.
• Test results are not accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination and will not be accepted at the door.
About the participants:
Tobias Hering is an independent film curator living in Berlin and Mecklenburg. His work focuses on thematic film programs that deal with questions of image politics and the role of archives. Recent projects include “The gatekeepers exist to be overthrown,” a three-part homage to New York film curator Amos Vogel at the Arsenal cinema in Berlin (2021-2022), and the lumbung film program GDR International for documenta fifteen in Kassel. At the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Tobias Hering is head of the archive-based program section “re-selected.” He is currently conducting research in US archives for a future project on film relations between East Germany and the United States.
Mariana Ivanova is Academic Director of the DEFA Film Library and Associate Professor of German Film and Media at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her scholarship focuses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century German and European cinemas and cultures, and theories of transnational filmmaking. At the DEFA Film Library, she co-organizes Summer Film Institutes, film festivals and hosts visiting artists, filmmakers, and researchers. She is the author of Cinema of Collaboration: DEFA Coproductions and International Exchange in Cold War Europe (2020, Berghahn) that responds to the need to rethink East German cinema within the constantly evolving discursive space of European filmmaking. Ivanova has also published and given talks on the ways the GDR is represented and “remembered” in film, on genre and censorship practices within socialist cinematic industries, and on transborder movement for the purposes of producing and distributing films.
Thanks for her invaluable support in organizing this event goes to Hiltrud Schulz (DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst).
"Great Expectations: Films as Cultural Mediators between East Germany and the U.S." is funded by the DAAD from funds of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).