The history of the Filminitative Würzburg e.V. began in 1974 when a small group of film enthusiasts headed by the students, Meinhard Zumfeld and Norbert Westenrieder, set out to create a forum that connected the public with directors from around the globe. They were particularly interested in and supported by the University of Würzburg which has organized the film seminar, “Romania”, for more than fourty decades. This small group set out to provide a platform for foreign language cinema, in particular Cinéma Française; to introduce unknown young filmmakers; to lure world-famous filmmakers to Würzburg; and, lastly, to screen new films not yet available on the open market. The university town offered a chance to use multilingualism on a ground level and get films from abroad that had not yet found their way to distributors. Furthermore, this was an opportunity for film lovers to get to know filmmakers and discuss their films with them. This sort of interaction with the public at that time was still a pronounced rarity.
We source our films from submissions, visits to other film festivals, and internet research. Incidentally, one thing has not changed since 1974: Our festival is exclusively organized by volunteers. With around 10,000 visitors over a four day period and about 60 films as well as a number of special events, it is one of the largest such events in Germany. Things have changed since the early days, but the nature of the festival has changed very little. Developed from a student impulse, volunteers have always fought to make it work. If you love movies and want to be a part of our festival, feel free to drop us a a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us personally during the festival in January.