“Make Movies Not War – The Cold Cinema War in Germany” will be the subject of a presentation by filmmaker Jörg Foth on Wednesday, Nov. 3, from 12-1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center Third Floor East Lounge. The event is free and open to the public.
Foth is an artist-in-residence at the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, the only archive and study center outside Europe devoted to the work of East German filmmaking. DEFA stands for Deutsche Film Aktiengesellschaft, the state-run East German film studios in operation from 1946 to 1990.
Foth was born in Berlin and studied directing at the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg from 1972 to 1977. After working as an assistant director at the DEFA Studio for Feature Films and with East German television, he made his directorial debut with Das Eismeer ruft (The Arctic Sea Calls). Employed as a director-in-training at DEFA as of 1984, Foth had to wait years until he was allowed to direct his next feature film, Biologie!, the only DEFA feature ever to deal with environmental issues. Starting in the early 1980s, Foth lobbied for a role for the youngest generation of DEFA filmmakers in studio structures. He was finally promoted to director in spring 1990, a few months before the studio was closed. Since 1991, Foth has worked in television and film, as well as theater.
His presentation is part of Illinois State University’s International Studies Seminar Series exploring topics in global politics and culture. The seminar series is organized by the Unit for International Linkages, Office of International Studies and Programs, and the Women’s Studies Program.