Scope of Duties
The central task of the DIAF is the maintenance and promotion of German animated film. Following the extensive indexing of the DEFA animated films, the targeted expansion of the collection to include German animated film in general is planned. In addition to archiving and the conservation measures linked to this, the institute's primary fields of activity also include academic research. In this manner the institute also organises international conferences – most recently in 2005 in cooperation with the Society for Animation Studies. The Institute itself does not offer any educational or training courses in the field of film, but it does work closely together with correspondingly appropriate workshops such as, for example, the International Animated Film Workshop headed by Jerzy Kucia at the Krakow Academy of Art in Poland. The long-term goal of the DIAF is the creation of an extensive German animated film network to interconnect the appropriate film archiving, research, educational and exploitation institutions. The Institute endeavours to introduce German animated film to a broad general public via national and international film presentations and exhibitions as well as professional publications.



The German Institute for Animated Film (DIAF) was founded in Dresden on 16th November 1993. Here, from 1955 to 1990 the DEFA Studio for Animated Film, the state animated film production studio of the former German Democratic Republic, produced mostly children's and family films as well as, on occasion, adult satires and artistic films. Following the closure of the DEFA Studio, the German Federal Archive entrusted the DIAF with the studio's estate and legacy. In addition to more than 2,000 film prints, the DIAF also archives an extensive collection of film-related materials and documents, particularly from the field of East German animated film. The detailed indexing and evaluation of the extensive DEFA Studio legacy was initially completed in 2003 with the publication of Die Trick-Fabrik. DEFA-Animationsfilme 1955-1990. In April 2002, the Institute opened a permanent exhibition on the complete works of the DEFA Studio for Animated Films in the Technischen Sammlungen der Stadt Dresden (Dresden Technical Museum).

The Institute is funded by the Sächsischen Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst (Saxon State Ministry of Science and Art) and the Landeshauptstadt Dresden Amt für Kultur und Denkmalschutz (Dresden State Capital Culture and Historical Preservation Office). Furthermore, numerous projects have been realised through the assistance of the DEFA Foundation, Berlin.


Overview of Film Collection
The heart of the collection is formed by the estate of the DEFA Studio for Animated Film, although the collection is continually expanding due to the addition of other materials related to German animated film in general. Furthermore, thanks to the bequests of individual filmmakers, additional artistic materials that go beyond animated film itself can be found, as can written documents related to artistic processes such as work books and journals.

The film collection includes around 2,000 prints in total. For the most part, they are short pieces of animated and hand puppet film footage on 35 mm positive film stock from the former DEFA film collection. In addition to this there are East and West German advertising and promotional films, some 16 mm positive film prints of historic animation films and documentary films about Saxony art history.


At the DEFA Studio for Animated Film, particular emphasis was placed on the production of puppet animation film. Due to this, the institute has a large collection of three-dimensional objects. This includes approximately 1,500 puppet figures – animated film figures of differing stylistic techniques as well as hand and stick puppets – and 3,000 props, objects and sets.


A speciality of the Dresden Studios was the animated silhouette film. In addition to Lotte Reiniger, Bruno Böttge with around 40 films to his name was one of the most constant makers of silhouette films in the history of animated film. Together with film prints and written documents, the Bruno Böttge Collection includes numerous silhouette figures and decorations for sets. In total, the institute houses about 3,300 silhouette figures.


In the area of graphics, the collection includes approximately 4,000 drafts of figures, scenes and backgrounds, as well as 18,000 animated film transparencies, 170 animated film posters and 3,500 feature film posters. Furthermore, the archive has about 500 flat 2D figures.


The photograph collection contains over 3,000 photographs, primarily film stills of DEFA animated films. A large number of the photographs relate to work or were shot on the occasion of events, and thus document the technical developments and operational organisation of the former animated film production in Dresden.