The Hiostory of the German Film Festival Sector
A qualitative study based on expert interviews and secondary data analysis
by Filmfestival Studien and partner

The history of the German film festival sector is still neither documented nor systematically reappraised. This applies to its position as part of the cultural offer as well as with regard to its growing role in the film industry and cinema landscape. On the contrary, it is evident that even the film funding agencies of the federal states, the ministries of culture and even the Federal Statistical Office have only very limited data or historical publications, especially from the period before the turn of the millennium. This highlights the great desideratum and the necessity of a timely historical reappraisal of the development of the German film festival landscape, as this is the only way to ensure that, with the help of contemporary witnesses, film festivals can be tracked down, developments traced and connections reconstructed, including those of the German film industry.
The example of the data on now long forgotten actors of the Film Festivals in Lower Saxonia from the 1980s until today makes this more than clear.

Success factors of German film festivals
An empirical analysis of internal and external key factors by Tanja C. Krainhöfer

While the original access points to film culture – the cinema, physical home entertainment, pay TV and free-access TV channels – are increasingly losing their reach and appeal, especially among young target groups, the film festival sector has been growing rapidly since the end of the last century and is increasingly developing both economic and social impact potential. However, despite this development, many film festivals seem to fear year after year for the preservation of a sustainable foundation and thus their continued existence. With a view to the primary goal of any enterprise, namely, to ensure its long-term existence and ability to develop, this study aims to identify key factors that significantly influence the economic survival of a film festival. The aim is to provide festival organizers with an important basis of information that will enable them to successfully shape the future of their company in terms of strategic management by means of derived options for action.

The theoretical frame of reference for the study is based on classic success factor research. The research design is based on a two-stage procedure: a survey using a standardized questionnaire to collect data on individual basic structural characteristics, and guideline-based, problem-centered on-site interviews, which serve as the main investigation of success factors of individual selected film festivals from the perspective of the respective decision-makers. The study was preceded by an extensive market analysis to identify and collect data on the basic population.