Family Affairs

An idea for the Arsenal’s "Living Archive"

Film is a business which, more than the refrigerator or car industry, is very dependent on people. An excellent example is the way the Forum, or even the Arsenal, has functioned ever since its coming into being.

Exceptionally, these interests are not kept in the background of our Living Archive project but deliberately brought to the forefront. In concrete terms, the project is about taking stock of the knowledge and narrative values that revolve as stories and anecdotes around the single films that can be found in the Arsenal archive.

The central idea is a – perhaps open in future – collection/documentation of this knowledge. Which films came into the archive and how? Who recommended them? How/When were the filmmakers/rights holders involved? Did they come via the Forum, the Berlinale or in other ways? Who saw them and thought they were “important”? What motivated the rights holder to put them in the archive? Why?

"Family members" of the Forum (individuals and institutions) all over the world have already been contacted as part of a preliminary project phase conducted in cooperation with Ulrich and Erika Gregor. They were asked to "nominate" exceptional films about which there are stories to be told. These stories are now collected in an ongoing series of interviews.

Biography of Dorothee Wenner