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Filmmaker Meets Film Scholar

Andreas Dresen and Randall Halle in Dialogue on February 2, 2015, at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 017/2015 from Jan 28, 2015

The German filmmaker Andreas Dresen and the American film historian Randall Halle are this year's guests of honor of the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies. On February 2, 2015, in an event at Freie Universität, they will exchange views on Dresen’s diverse directorial work and the German film industry. This will be followed by a discussion with the audience. Prof. Dr. Claudia Olk of the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin will open the conversation. The event is open to the public, and admission is free.

Andreas Dresen is one of the most important German film directors of our time. He grew up in Schwerin, the capital of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He made his first films in the 1970s. His graduation project at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen Konrad Wolf (Academy of Film and Televison) in Potsdam-Babelsberg was commended with the Prix Europa.

Dresen's feature film debut "Silent Country" (1992) was awarded the German Critics Award. In 1999 he became known to a broader public with his episodic film "Night Shapes," which was awarded a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale). Two years later he also received a Silver Bear for the film "Half Staircase." Dresen's productive film career is characterized by a close monitoring of everyday life and the differentiated representation of diverse realities.

In addition to his documentary works, such as his cult film "Mr. Wichmann from the CDU" (2003), Dresen has often directed theater and opera. As a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin-Brandenburg, the European Film Academy, and the German Film Academy of the Deutsche Film AG Foundation, he is committed to the future and heritage of film culture in Germany. Since 2012 he has been a lay judge in the state of Brandenburg. He is competing at this year's Berlinale in February with his new film "When We Were Dreaming."

Randall Halle is the Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German Film and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh (USA). After receiving his doctorate in 1996 from the University of Wisconsin, he taught until 2006 as an associate professor at the University of Rochester in New York. His main areas of research are film theory and social philosophy. In particular, he is interested in analyzing transnationalism and Europeanization.

Halle's numerous publications include: The Europeanization of Cinema (Illinois 2014), German Film after Germany (Illinois 2008), and After the Avant-Garde (Camden House, 2008). He has received numerous research fellowships, including ones from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Fulbright Commission. During the 2004-2005 academic year, Halle was a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.

Halle is a board member of the German Studies Association (GSA), the largest organization of scholars in North America who deal with the history, literature, culture, politics, and economies of German-speaking countries. The GSA has been a partner of the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies for many years.

Through the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin supports North American postdoctoral researchers in the humanities and social sciences who do research on Germany and Europe. Run in cooperation with the GSA, the Berlin Program provides promising young scholars with a platform for delving into one of the most important academic regions of Europe. They are given an opportunity to do research at Freie Universität Berlin within a framework for discussion and networking. So far 300 scholars have benefitted from the Berlin Program, which was set up in 1986. The numerous alumni, most of whom are now faculty at major North American universities, contribute through their teaching, research, and publications, to a better understanding of Germany and Europe in North America.

Time and Location

  • Monday, February 2, 2015, 4 to 6 pm.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Seminar Center, Room L 116, Otto-von-Simson-Str. 26, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Dahlem-Dorf (U3)

Further Information

Karin Goihl, Academic Coordinator, Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-56671, Email: