INTERFILM is the international network for the dialogue between church and film. It promotes the appreciation of cinema’s artistic, spiritual and social significance in the church and calls attention to the relevance of church, theology and religion for cinema. INTERFILM is "looking beyond the screen".
INTERFILM acts in an ecumenical context. As film constitutes a global form of expression and communication, so INTERFILM is committed to ecumenism: a mutual understanding beyond the limits of confessions, churches and religions. INTERFILM joins church and cinema, cultures and religions.
The first Interfilm Jury sat at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) in 1963, where it awarded the Otto Dibelius Film Award of the Protestant Church Berlin-Brandenburg to a film in International Competition. A second prize was given to a film in the Programme of the International Forum for New Cinema. In 1963, an Interfilm Jury was also present at Mannheim; in 1964 at the International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, and in 1969 at the Cannes Film Festival.
Cooperation developed with the German Catholic Film Department and the International Catholic Film Organisation (at that time OCIC, since 2002 SIGNIS) and Interfilm’s festival presence now consists mainly of juries drawn from both organisations. Interfilm juries are still present at the Film Festival Max Ophüls Award, Saarbrücken (since 1985) and at the Nordic Film Festival, Lübeck (since 1996). Within the framework of the Interfilm Academy it is also present at the Film Festival in Munich with the One Future Award.
Ecumenical juries have been present in Locarno (since 1973), Cannes (1974), Montreal (1979), Moscow (1989, with interruptions), Leipzig (1990), Berlin (1992), St. Petersburg (1994, with interruptions), Karlovy Vary (1994), Mannheim-Heidelberg (1995), Cottbus (1999), Kiev (1999, with interruptions), Oberhausen (2000), Zlin (2000), Fribourg (2001), Bratislava (2001), and Yerevan (2007).
INTERFILM cooperates with institutions and individuals working in the church and in film; promotes experiences derived from film through personal exchange, discussion (seminars and research projects) and publishing; supports the exchange of information and documentation on film and audiovisual media; and is committed to be present at international film festivals, awarding prizes to films, and making the exchange and renting of selected films and audiovisual media easier.
One of INTERFILM’s main tasks is to be present at international film festivals with its own jury. For their awards the juries select films that stand out due to their artistic quality; that reveal human attitudes or expressions of the Gospel or prompt discussion; and which sensitize viewers to spiritual and social questions and values.
Jury members and those institutions that delegate them publicize the selected films in their own countries and support their evaluation. They are committed to a better understanding of contemporary film and to the questions, values and visions arising from it. Thus, they focus on the role of the church in a secularized society and promote intensive dialogue between church and public, theology and culture, film criticism and filmmakers from all over the world.
INTERFILM consists of institutions and individual members who pay an annual membership fee or make special payments. A general meeting every three years gives an opportunity for all members to elect a Steering Committee and a President. INTERFILM cooperates with the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), Toronto, and the World Catholic Association for Communication (SIGNIS), Brussels.
Steering Committee and Presidency*
*Julia Helmke, Hannover (President)
*Hans Hodel, Bern (Jury Co-ordinator)
*Denyse Muller, Arles (Vice-President)
*Karsten Visarius, Frankfurt a/M (Vice-President)
*Philip Lee, Toronto (Vice-President)
Dietmar Adler, Bad Münder
Eckart Bruchner, Munich
Robin E. Gurney, London
Piet Halma, Baarn
Jolyon P. Mitchell, Edinburgh
Jes Nysten, Roskilde
Angelika Obert, Berlin
Werner Schneider-Quindeau, Frankfurt a/M
Christine Stark, Zurich
Gianna Urizio, Rome
Anita Uzulniece, Riga
Waltraud Verlaguet, Fayence
Charlotte Wells, Uppsala
GEP, Filmcultural Centre
D-60394 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Tel.: +49-69-58098-0, Fax: -274
CH-3013 Bern, Switzerland