Whether avant-garde, experimental, essayistic, long-term studies, political reportage or unfamiliar cinematography, the International Forum of New Cinema brings together all that is beyond the mainstream, new or treading uncharted filmmaking territory.

There are historical reasons why this section of the Berlin International Film Festival has always had a special fondness for politically motivated cinematography. In the mid-Sixties, the Berlin International Film Festival was showing signs of weariness. The political upheavals of the era were not reflected in the films that were screened, although smaller festivals like those in Oberhausen and Mannheim had long and passionately debated the use of the cinematic medium as a tool for political expression and combat. It was for this reason that Ulrich and Erika Gregor and other members of the Friends of the German Film Archive founded the International Forum of New Cinema.

The Forum does not focus solely on stars and glamour. Rather, it regards the cinema very much as a tool for cultural exchange and political debate. After each screening, the audience and the director discuss the film. And the Forum produces leaflets containing interviews, background information and critiques.

Christoph Terhechte, to whom Ulrich Gregor passed the reins in 2001, remains true to this concept. "The Forum has influenced my own cinematic education", he says. The 34th International Forum of New Cinema will once again attempt to live up to the political and avant-garde demands that have shaped its programme in the past. And in keeping with this tradition, the Forum will continue to support independent filmmaking around the globe.
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