The Legendary East German Studio

“When Germany was reunited, the last thing Westerners thought they’d find on the ‘ugly’ side of the Wall was a rich film archive.” - Paper Magazine


In June 2001, First Run Features, partnering with ICESTORM International, became the exclusive North American home video distributor of the films of DEFA (Deutsche Filmaktiengesellschaft), the state-run studios of the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany).

DEFA was headquartered at the legendary UFA Studios in the "film city" of Babelsberg near Berlin, which was famous for the work of such artists as Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder and Marlene Dietrich. Oscar nominee Armin Mueller-Stahl began his career at DEFA, along with many of Germany's leading contemporary actors, directors and technicians. Fourteen DEFA films were recently named among the "100 Most Important German Films" of all time. Spanning from 1946 to the 1990s, the DEFA films represent Europe's largest cohesive national cinema collection.


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