Film service

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Film service
description German film portal
publishing company dreipunktdrei mediengesellschaft mbh
First edition 1947
editor Catholic Film Commission for Germany
Web link is a Catholic German online portal for cinema, film culture and film criticism . The movie service applies not only epd film as one of the two leading religious publications for film criticism in Germany. The portal offers detailed reviews of all films that are shown in German cinemas . There are also reviews of a selection of DVD and Blu-ray premieres, series, offers from streaming services and tips on film broadcasts on television.

The editorial team consists of editor-in-chief Josef Lederle, Felicitas Kleiner and Marius Nobach.

The online portal has replaced the film magazine Filmdienst ( spelling FILMDIENST , formerly film-dienst ) since January 8, 2018 . It was published every 14 days until December 2017. In 2016 it became known that the print edition would be discontinued for economic reasons and replaced by a purely online offer.


In October 1947 the film service of the youth appeared for the first time , which was published by students from the Catholic youth work . In 1949 the Catholic Film Commission for Germany was established, which was responsible for the film evaluation of the Catholic Church. The commission took over the youth film service and renamed the magazine film-dienst in 1949 . It is the oldest magazine for film criticism in Germany.

“The legitimation of church film journalism after the war arose from the recommendations of Pope Pius XI. which he published in his encyclical ' Vigilanti cura ' in 1936, but which could not be enforced during the Nazi era due to the restrictions on church film work . "

- Peter Hasenberg : Catholic film work after the Second World War

In 1953 the Catholic Broadcasting Institute was established , which from 1973 was called the Catholic Institute for Media Information (KIM) and took over the film service as its publisher. From October 2003 to May 2011 the film service was published in Bonn by the Deutsche Zeitung GmbH publishing house , from issue 11/2011 to the dreipunktdrei mediengesellschaft mbh, whose sole shareholder is the Catholic news agency . The reviews were also published in book form. Between 1951 and 1965 it was published as a manual for Catholic film critics in seven volumes by Verlag Haus Altenberg, Düsseldorf.

The service-movie was in the first 20 years, an organ that was addressed to the Catholic faithful. His reviews were posted in the parish showcases. The reviews could have a significant influence on the economic success of a film. The film industry started showing its films to the critics of the film service in advance. The politically more left-wing magazine Filmkritik even saw a "Catholic film censorship " looming in 1962 .

In the course of the 1960s, however, the Catholic film critics and thus also the magazine film-dienst became increasingly independent of the opinion of the German Bishops' Conference . This showed the different assessments of Ingmar Bergman's film Das Schweigen from 1963 and the scandal surrounding the award of the film Teorema - Geometry of Love by Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1968 at the Venice Film Festival by the Catholic jury. The Second Vatican Council also took place from 1962 to 1965 .

The increasingly independent judgment of the film service has actually increased its public image. So it happened in 1987 for the publication of the collected filmdienst -Kritiken as a lexicon of international film by the Rowohlt Verlag . At the same time, assessments from earlier decades were partially revised or presented in new text form.

The Catholic film work was involved in important bodies of the film industry, the Voluntary Self-Regulation of the Film Industry (FSK) and important state bodies such as the Federal Testing Office for Writings Harmful to Young People , the Film Evaluation Office of the Länder and the Film Commission at the Federal Ministry of the Interior through their film experts. The work was carried out in particular at the Wiesbaden Film Evaluation Center and the Film Funding Agency.


Like the earlier print magazine, the portal sees itself as a publication that aims to describe and critically evaluate the medium of film in all of its manifestations. This applies to mainstream cinema, but in particular also to films and film artists who, without financially strong production and distribution companies, are barely noticed in the other media offerings.

The content and importance of a film is assessed in the reviews with a synopsis (“short review”, “statement of the Catholic Film Commission for Germany”) in two or three sentences. In perhaps five to ten percent of all cases, the Catholic film critics say “worth seeing” and very rarely “we advise against”; in other contexts, films are also referred to as “worth seeing and discussing”. In each issue, a newly released film becomes a “cinema tip from Catholic film critics”. Particularly worthwhile DVDs (“extraordinary version”, “above average secondary material”) have been able to receive the “Silberling” seal of approval for several years.

In addition to the detailed reviews, there are other reports about the cinema: portraits of filmmakers and actors , thematic analyzes, interviews with filmmakers, film history summaries, current short reports from the film industry, looks at the work of individual film nations as well as at the major international film festivals , meetings Exhibitions, new film books and film music .

As shown, since 2007 horror films or light entertainment films have also been favorably discussed in the print magazine . A decidedly Catholic interpretation only comes into play in isolated disputes ( The Last Temptation of Christ , 1988, The Passion of Christ , 2004). Several times a year special thematic booklets were devoted to different film theoretical or cinematic focuses. On the occasion of the 60th birthday of the film service in October 2007, the special issue “LIGHT!” Was published. The film service accompanies current film events in Switzerland with a constant focus .

In 2002 the film-dienst  - as well as epd Film  - received the 15,000 euro film review award . The two publications have become irreplaceable for everyone who deals with films in Germany, said the chairman of the Association of German Film Critics, Rolf-Rüdiger Hamacher. The prize is awarded by the Filmstiftung NRW and the Association of German Film Critics .

With the 04/2013 issue, the magazine was converted to a new layout. In addition, all German theatrical releases were discussed, but only a selection of them in detail in the magazine. All other films are included with long reviews in the magazine's online offer. In August 2014, the supplement “Film on TV”, which had existed for decades, was discontinued and replaced by detailed editorial television pages with tips on specific films, themed evenings, days and weeks, film magazines, broadcast short film programs, special festival reports and particularly interesting television premieres.

film-dienst is a partner of the Recklinghausen Church Film Festival .

Offers and media

Online offer has been an online portal since January 2018 . Access is free of charge. Full access to the film database Lexicon of International Films costs 19.90 euros a year. The Lexicon of International Films is the most comprehensive German film database containing information and ratings on more than 80,000 films and 240,000 directors, actors and filmmakers that have been published in German cinemas and / or on video or DVD and on television since 1946. In the “My Film Service” area, users can leave their own comments and remarks.

Until the end of 2017, film reviews and selected texts from the current editions were also available online on the homepage. Subscribers also had access to the cinOmat. The name of the film database was changed from cinOmat to Lexicon of International Films from January 2018 . The website achieves an average of 35,000 unique visits per month (as of December 2014).

Lexicon of International Films

In addition to the film magazine, the film service developed the lexicon of international film . It was first published in 1987 - in continuation of the previous individual volumes - as a ten-volume publication; its supplemented and revised new edition was published in October 2001 (Verlag Zweausendeins , Frankfurt / Main). As part of the “Film Yearbooks” published by Schüren Verlag (Marburg), the lexicon was supplemented and expanded annually in book form.

“The lexicon is not just a listing of films, but in a sense represents the goals of Catholic film work. The coverage of the entire range of films on offer reflects the intention to emphatically support the cultural diversity of film. (…) The concern to critically question the conveyed values ​​in addition to the artistic form is justified, which is underlined by discussions about problematic media effects that are constantly being reignited. "

- Peter Hasenberg, Richard W. Orth : Lexicon of International Films (Vol. 1, Foreword by the editors, p. VIII)

Book series Edition "film-dienst" published by Schüren-Verlag

The “film-dienst” book series, curated by the Filmdienst , has existed since 2000 . After the first volume, Krzysztof Kieslowski. Kino der moral unrest by Margarete Wach (2000), still published by the Catholic Institute for Media Information in Cologne, the books are now published by Schüren Verlag, Marburg. So far have been published: Something Better Than Death… Filmexil in Hollywood by Helmut G. Asper (2002), Brennpunkt Hollywood by Franz Everschor (2003), Color in the cinema by Susanne Marschall (2005) and Scheherazade in the cinema: 1001 Nights from Hollywood ( 2006) by Felicitas Kleiner , camera authors: technology and aesthetics (2008) by Thomas Brandlmeier , words / contradictions. Volker Baer: Texts for the film 1958–2007 (2009) by Ralf Schenk (ed.), Fliegertäume und Spanish Erde. The Spanish Civil War in the Film (2010) by Wolfgang Martin Hamdorf / Clara López Rubio (Ed.) And Forms of Love: The Films by Rudolf Thome (2010) by Ulrich Kriest (Ed.).

CD series "Edition Filmmusik - Composed in Germany"

Since May 2007 the Filmdienst has been publishing the CD series "Edition Filmmusik - Composed in Germany" together with NORMAL Records, which recognizes the versatility and high quality of German film composers. Constant new releases are intended to provide a comprehensive overview of current German film music, with each CD presenting a composer and introducing them in a detailed booklet. So far, CDs have been released on Annette Focks , Katja Tchemberdji , Martin Todsharow (double CD), Stefan Will , Christine Aufderhaar , Dieter Schleip (double CD), Thomas Osterhoff , Angelika Niescier , Natalia Dittrich , Marcel Barsotti , Ralf Wengenmayr , Ali N Askin , Ulrike Haage , Yati E. Durant, Fabian Römer and Niki Reiser . The edition is distributed by Normal Records; It is supported by the DEFA Foundation and the International Women's Film Festival Dortmund / Cologne .

See also


  • Catholic Institute for Media Information, Central Media Office of the German Bishops' Conference, Catholic Film Commission for Germany (Ed.): Dienst am Film. Service to people. 40 years of film service. 1947-1987. Cologne Bonn 1987.
  • Catholic Institute for Media Information, Catholic Film Commission for Germany (Hrsg.): Jesus in the lead role. On the history and aesthetics of the Jesus films. With detailed filmography and bibliography. Cologne 1992.
  • Catholic Institute for Media Information, Catholic Film Commission for Germany (Ed.): 50 years of film service. Cologne 1997 (with facsimile of the first issue of Filmdienst der Jugend from October 1947).


  1. Publisher dreipunktdrei mediengesellschaft mbH; Ed. Catholic Film Commission for Germany: Filmdienst: Das Film-Magazin . Bonn since 2003 ISSN  0720-0781
  2. Wolf Götz: Cutting for the Church, in a film review, 6th year, H. 1/1962. P. 1 (quoted from an article by Peter Hasenberg: Catholic film work after World War II )
  3. Thomas Schatten: 50 years of film service: An example of the relationship between church and culture in the Federal Republic . Düsseldorf / Cologne 1997, ISBN 3-9805688-0-6

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Joachim Heinz: The film service is going digital. In: January 5, 2018, accessed January 5, 2018 .
  2. Film service in future as an online offer. German Bishops' Conference , December 7, 2016, accessed on November 5, 2019 .
  3. Pius XI. : Vigilanti Cura: About the plays of light. In: encyclicals . June 29, 1936, Retrieved November 5, 2019 .
  4. page 11, accessed on October 11, 2006.
  5. p. 17, accessed on October 11, 2006.
  6. media booklet. Catholic Media Center , accessed November 5, 2019 .
  7. Online advertising - readers in focus. (PDF; 686 kB) Archived from the original on September 24, 2015 ; accessed on December 16, 2014 .