Film and Ecology: International Bremen Conference

The relationship between nature and film is the focus of the 26th International Bremen Film Conference, which will be held at Bremen's "Kommunalkino Kino 46" cinema from May 18 to 21, 2022. The University of Bremen is involved with the Film Studies group from the Faculty of Cultural Studies.

"We have selected films in which it becomes clear how greatly representations of nature say something about how we want to live as a society," says Professor Winfried Pauleit from the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the University of Bremen. "As early as in silent film, representations of landscape were a central part of dramatic film narratives. Nature documentaries but also disaster films model natural beauty but also its destruction in equal measure."

Film Program and Lectures Provide Detailed Insights into the Subject of Nature

In his latest film 24 Frames (IRN/F 2017), Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami reproduces historical paintings and his own photographs in 24 shots to imagine the moments before and after the pictorial fixation.

A highlight is Dersu Uzula (USSR/JPN 1975), Akira Kurosawa's only film made outside Japan: In the taiga of Siberia, Russian Captain Arseniev, head of a cartography squad, meets Dersu Uzala, a hunter who guides them both through nature from then on. Kurosawa stages the clash of fundamentally different cultures, who then survive extreme experiences of nature together. This results in one of cinema's most beautiful male friendships.

In the film Erde (AT 2019), Nikolaus Geyrhalter presents places such as marble quarries or tunnel construction sites where people manipulate the earth with the help of excavators and explosives.

Kelly Reichart's disturbingly quiet eco-thriller Night Moves (USA 2013) draws a sociological as well as psychological portrait of a group of environmental activists who oscillate between activism and terrorism – a discourse that is also present in today's environmental movement.

The French silent film Finis Terrae (F 1928) by Jean Epstein deals with the fate of some kelp fishermen, played by amateur actors, who have to rescue a colleague who is seriously ill on a deserted island. The film was extensively restored in 2019 and features a new soundtrack.

What can be gleaned from the legendary Hollywood musical Singin' in the Rain (USA 1954) in terms of sustainability will be explained by Judith Keilbach and Skadi Loist in their lecture.

Lectures and Forums

At the main conference talks, Alice Kuzniar (University of Waterloo, CND), Jennifer Fay (Vanderbilt University, USA), as well as Judith Keilbach and Skadi Loist (University of Utrecht; Filmuniversität Babelsberg) will present aspects of green aesthetics, scrutinize production conditions of various film epochs from an eco-critical point of view, and discuss the historical concepts of nature conveyed. In addition, three morning forums will bundle 12 short lectures from film studies and related disciplines.

Ecological Footprint of the Film Industry

The green cinema conference will also address sustainable cinema culture and film industries. An ecological footprint is revealed, for example, in how cinemas are designed and operated as cultural venues. The perspective of a Green Cinema is particularly forward-looking when the interrelationships of aesthetics, the material world, and ecological cycles come into sharper focus than before.

About the Film Conference

The film conference is aimed at the film-interested cinema public and professional visitors with its close interlocking of public lectures, film screenings, and film discussions. It is a long-standing cooperation between CITY 46 / Kommunalkino Bremen e.V., Film Studies Research Group / Faculty 9: Cultural Studies, ZeMKI, and Film Studies at FU Berlin and is supported by nordmedia - Film- und Mediengesellschaft Niedersachsen/ Bremen mbH and the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Further Information:



Nils Gloistein
CITY 46 Kommunalkino Bremen e.V. / University of Bremen
Email: gloisteinprotect me ?!city46protect me ?!.de


Prof. Dr. Winfried Pauleit
Institute for Art History - Film Studies - Art Education / ZeMKI
Faculty of Cultural Studies
Phone: +49 421 218-67720
Email: pauleitprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Film camera chalkboard and roll on wooden table
The relationship between nature and film is the focus of the 26th International Bremen Film Conference, which will be held at Bremen's "Kommunalkino Kino 46" cinema from May 18 to 21, 2022.