Film and Media Art

The sixth Section of the Akademie der Künste is the Film and Media Art Section and was constituted in 1984, starting work in 1985 under the direction of Peter Lilienthal and Eberhard Fechner. Its members consist of directors, cameramen, and script writers for feature and documentary films for cinema and television, as well as photographers, radio play authors, media artists, film historians, and film scholars. New members are elected by the plenum of the General Assembly after being proposed by the Section.


In May 2018, Thomas Heise was elected as Director of the Film and Media Arts Section and Helke Misselwitz was elected as Deputy Director.

Thomas Heise, Director

Thomas Heise, Director

Helke Misselwitz, Deputy Director

Helke Misselwitz, Deputy Director

Key areas

The work of this Section focuses on the current state and the future of media culture. This work manifests itself in individual events and series with media art works, their intellectual environment, as well as socio-political contexts, and regards itself as a meeting place between the media arts and other fields of scholarly reflection.


The Section organises film screenings, conversations, discussion forums, lectures, workshops, colloquia, and exhibitions.

In the “Mitglieder stellen vor“ (Members present) series, members present their own works or those of other artists who are important to them. Film discussions are held, in which current themes from the world of media aesthetics are debated. In individual events, the Section pursues a fundamental issue, namely – since 2011 – the issue of narration. In focus sessions mostly stretching over two days, complex questions are highlighted, such as those following the digital transformation in the media, or issues are raised that have been neglected in the public debate.

The Section also participates with its own contributions in the thematic issues programmes of the Academy, such as “Kunst und Revolte” (Art and Revolt) (2008, 2009) and its continuations “Blickwechsel” (Change of Perspective) (2011) und “Zu den Umbrüchen in den arabischen Gesellschaften” (On the Upheavals in the Arab Societies) (2012). It is also represented in the “Kulturelle Vermittlung” (Cultural Mediation) programme with the series “Lust auf Kunst” (Desire for Art), as well as being involved with the programme of the Young Academy.

Short Review

For many years, the Section organised the Radio Play Week and PLOPP, the competition for independent audio art (most recently in 2008). The European Summer Academy – Film and Media, directed by Peter Lilienthal (1990-1995), has left a permanent impression on an entire generation of filmmakers. As early as 1985, Eberhard Fechner launched the initiative for an as yet unfinished project (when measured by its goals): the creation of a “Deutsche Mediathek” (German Media Library) – a Radio Museum available to the public.

Furthermore, the Section has organised exhibitions with photographs by Josef Koudelka (1988), Ellen Auerbach ( 1998), Lars Tjunbörk (2002), and Sibylle Bergemann (2006).  The “Kino wie noch nie” (Cinema like never before) (2007) exhibition curated by Harun Farocki and Antje Ehmann transformed the exhibition room into a cinema laboratory. “Zukunft Kino” (Future of cinema) (2008 und 2009) dealt explicitly with the digital transformation in film, an aspect that determines all themes both now and in the near future. The feminine side of cinema was amongst others the subject of the “Fucking Feminists” projects (2011) and was also the focus of attention in 2012.