Film Restored – The Film Heritage Festival

21-25 September 2022, Berlin

Submissions until 29 April

Request for program proposals

Since 2015, the Film Restored Festival has been dedicated to film heritage in the digital age. Digital restorations celebrate their premieres here, filmmakers and restorers report on practical aspects of digitization processes, and experts discuss political and aesthetic questions that arise in the context of these measures.

The seventh edition of the festival, titled “For real?!”, explores the numerous layers of the documentary form. It takes its cue from the 80th birthday of exceptional director Werner Herzog on 5 September, who has repeatedly tested the boundaries between fictional and documentary representations in his work and who has set international standards with his films. Over the course of five days, the festival will shed light on the aesthetic, political, and material layers of the documentary form in film history.

In addition, by choosing this theme, Film Restored aims to draw attention to the vast documentary film holdings around the globe, which have so far hardly been considered in the context of film preservation and digitization efforts.

Topics for submissions

Film-theoretical questions, such as:

  • Layers of reality and of claims to truth, e.g., with reference to Werner Herzog’s notion of “ecstatic truth” or Kristin Thompson’s concept of “excess”
  • “Between fact and fiction”, documentary elements in feature films and enactments in documentary films
  • Re-enactment as a cinematic quest for truth
  • The ethics of documentary films, e.g., reflections on documentary methods, such as Direct Cinema, montage techniques, or ways of dealing with documentary representations of violence


Questions related to archival and restoration practices, such as:

  • The status of documentary films in archives and archival processes, from acquisition to presentation
  • Material characteristics of documentary collections, e.g., 16mm, video, sound ...


Film-historical examples of documentary genres and of genres that draw on features of the documentary form, such as:

  • The interlacing of cinematic layers in compilation films (archive materials within documentary films)
  • “Kulturfilme” and propaganda films
  • War imagery
  • Experimental documentaries
  • Mockumentaries
  • Etc. 

Submission guidelines

You are welcome to submit proposals for research papers, field reports, examples of restorations as well as proposals for panel discussions (including topics and speakers) in connection with proposals for film screenings. As the festival will be hybrid, you can also propose online presentations.

The deadline for submissions (in German or English) is 29 April 2022. Please send your proposals to: filmrestored@deutsche-kinemathek.de.

Notifications of decisions will be sent after 1 July. The programme will be available at the beginning of August. Speakers will be reimbursed for travel expenses (plus honoraria) to attend the Film Restored Festival on site, provided that travel will be possible in view of the current pandemic situation.

General information

The Film Restored Festival 2022 will take place at the Filmhaus in Berlin and online from 21 to 25 September. Festival languages are German and English. The approximately 15 films that can be selected will be screened in their original languages with English or German subtitles.

Film Restored is an event of the Deutsche Kinemathek for the Kinematheksverbund and is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) and supported by FIAF and Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video.