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Potsdam, Germany, was designated a UNESCO City of Film in 2019.

What does this mean for Potsdam?

Being a part of the international UNESCO Creative Cities Network means that our city can

  • share best practice examples and cooperative initiatives with other Creative Cities in all creative sectors all around the world
  • form a network with other Creative Cities for the preservation, research and dissemination of regional and international film heritage
  • establish new international collaborations in all areas of film as factors of economic, cultural, scientific and education significance
Potsdam is the largest city and capital of the state of Brandenburg in Germany and is known around the world for the castles and parks that UNESCO World Heritage listed in 1990. Potsdam as a city of film began in 1911 with the construction of the Studio Babelsbergo. Back then Fritz Lang shot his masterpiece "Metropolis" there, and today it is Europe's largest studio complex.


What makes Potsdam a City of Film?

Film Production in Potsdam

Film Production & Heritage

The first film recorded in 1912 was made in Potsdam. It was here that Fritz Lang shot his masterpiece "Metropolis", now recognised as UNESCO documentary heritage. Today, Studio Babelsberg, with 20 studios distributed across more than 160,000 m², is Europe's largest studio complex and used for local, international and Hollywood Productions. Potsdam is also home to the first volumetric studio on the European continent, set up by Volucap GmbH and opened in 2018.

Film Festivals in Potsdam

Film Festivals

Film enthusiasts are drawn to the bright film festival culture of Potsdam. The international student film festival Sehsüchte is organised by students at the Filmuniversity, and celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021. Moving History, Potsdam's Festival for Historic Films since 2017, presents documentary and fictional films with historic themes from current and past cinema, and television production. For over two decades, the Jewish Film Festival Berlin & Brandenburg has been a forum for Jewish and Israeli film in Germany.

Film Education in Potsdam

Film Education

Potsdam is home to the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, the oldest and largest film college in Germany. In 2007, the Children's Film University was established for children, and from there teenagers can continue their film education at the Babelsberger Film High School. Public education is championed by the Film Museum's permanent exhibition "Dream Factory – 100 Years of Film in Babelsberg", while the Filmpark Babelsberg offers original sets, costumes, stunt shows and a studio tour.

Film Culture

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Film and film culture is at the heart of Potsdam, alongside the science and history of the city. Potsdam-Babelsberg is the cradle of the German film industry. Founded in 1917, the UFA, is one of the world's oldest film companies. Since 1918, Potsdam has been home to the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg. The origins of the DEFA, the state-run film studio of the GDR, trace back as far as 1946. Today, Potsdam combines film history and heritage, national and international film production, digital innovation, education and research.

Digital Innovation

Potsdam combines media and IT in a unique way, developing digital solutions for the future and for the film industry. In 2017, Potsdam was distinguished by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs as one of 12 digital hubs. This has led to diverse opportunities for further development in the film industry and means for dealing with film heritage. At Volucap GmbH, onsite innovation allows for 32 cameras to create hologram-like representations of real people that can then appear as computer-generated models.

Mark Reid, Head of Education BFI
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Film Tourism

Clayton Community Cinema
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Potsdam has been a centre of film for over 100 years. Since 1993, the Filmpark Babelsberg offers a look behind the scenes of film and tv productions. The Film Museum Potsdam is the oldest film museum in Germany and is located in the “Marstall”, the historic horse stables of the Prussian kings. Potsdam also has a lively cinema culture. Every year, four film festivals welcome audiences from all over the country. The Thalia Cinema has received multiple awards as the best German arthouse cinema.

Latest News

Recent Filming

Babylon Berlin Series
Charlie's Angels
dir. Elizabeth Banks, 2019
The French Dispatch
dir. Wes Anderson, 2019
A Hidden Life
dir. Terrence Malick, 2019

Want to find out more about Potsdam?

Discover more about Potsdam's work with fellow Cities of Film and Creative Cities on the International Collaboration pages.

Visit the Potsdam City of Film website for the latest on activity in Potsdam.