Okapia (picture agency)
|legal form||Limited partnership|
|Seat||Frankfurt am Main , Germany|
The Okapia KG Michael Grzimek & Co is a German picture agency with a focus on nature and wildlife photography. It was founded in 1954 by Michael and Bernhard Grzimek as a production company for documentary films in Frankfurt am Main . Its inventory includes around 1.7 million digital images from the areas of wildlife, science and medicine.
Okapia KG produced the documentary films No place for wild animals (awarded two Golden Bears and the Federal Film Prize in 1956 ) and Serengeti must not die . The latter won an Oscar / Best Documentary (Best Documentation) as the first German film in 1960 . The image material collected during the filming and research work was archived by Okapia and was initially used to illustrate Bernhard Grzimek's publications. In this way the basis for a photo archive was laid.
In 1959 Michael Grzimek was killed in a plane crash while filming Serengeti Must Not Die . His widow Erika Grzimek then took over his duties in the management of Okapia. She was a personally liable partner until her death in February 2020.
Over the years, Okapia has developed into a commercially successful nature image archive. In addition to material from in-house production, photos by agency photographers such as Joan Root , Art Wolfe , Norman Myers and Fritz Pölking were increasingly marketed, and later also by members of the Society of German Animal Photographers (GDT).
Christian Grzimek, son of Michael and Erika Grzimek, joined the management in 1980. With the takeover of the agencies Save-Bild and Helga Lade in 2000 at the latest, the range of images was also expanded to include stock photography . In the 2000s, photo collections from international cooperation partners were increasingly included. Today the company works with around 40 partner agencies and 600 photographers. The total inventory is around 1.7 million digital images, all of which are available online.
- OKAPIA. In: BVPA - Federal Association of Professional Image Providers. Retrieved on August 4, 2020 (German).
- Berlin International Film Festival 1956