Crowdfunding finished
A life without the cinema is possible, though senseless. True to this motto, the Gregors have travelled the world since 1957, seeking out exceptional films to bring back to Berlin. They not only re-established and vitally enriched film discourse in post-war Germany, in 1972 they expanded the Berlinale by adding the Forum section, thus crucially shaping the profile of our favourite film festival. Our documentary is dedicated to the life’s work of this remarkable couple.
16,610 €
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 Erika and Ulrich - A Life dedicated to Films
 Erika and Ulrich - A Life dedicated to Films
 Erika and Ulrich - A Life dedicated to Films
 Erika and Ulrich - A Life dedicated to Films
 Erika and Ulrich - A Life dedicated to Films

About this project

Funding period 10/26/20 3:16 PM - 1/25/21 11:59 PM
Realisation Spring 2021 - February 2022
Start level 15,000 €

This is the amount we need to get an interview-only film, with Erik and Ulrich, off the ground.

Category Movie / Video
City Berlin

Project description show hide

What is this project all about?

Our documentary film deals with the personal, cultural and film historical legacy of Erika and Ulrich Gregor. In addition to their significance for post-war German film culture, they are also "the funniest, most stylish and friendliest couple in the entire industry" - at least this is how Aki Kaurismäki sees it.
The Gregors are contemporary witnesses to the changes in the film cultural landscape since the 1950s, and more than that: they were its players.
In the student film club of the Free University they showed forgotten pearls of German cinema from the 1920s, but also films of French and Italian Neorealism.
In 1963, they founded the "Friends of the German Kinemathek“, presenting hand-picked film culture to a wider audience - in opposition to the German mainstream of the time. Soviet film, Polish film, South American workers' film, North American underground, short films implementing the Oberhausen Manifesto, films from Scandinavia, films from Asia - the monthly showings at the Academy of Arts could no longer contain their many ideas. In 1970, they opened their own cinema, the Kino Arsenal then located at Welserstr. 25 / Berlin-Schöneberg), which soon developed into the most extraordinary cinema in Germany.
In 1971 came the curating and organisational implementation of the new Berlinale-Section International Forum of Young Cinema. In this way they opened the Berlinale eastwards, elevated exotic film treasures, sharpened the festival’s profile and kickstarted the careers of big international film artists. Among the artists who had premieres in this section were: Peter Greenaway, Jim Jarmusch, Helke Sander, Jutta Brückner, Edgar Reitz, Michael Moore, Wong Kar-Wai, Margarethe von Trotta, Wim Wenders, Doris Dörrie, Jeanine Meerapfel, Rosa von Praunheim, Chantal Akerman, Theo Angelopoulos, Aki Kaurismäki and many more.(Trailer)

What is the project goal and who is the project for?

What would Berlin be without the Berlinale? And what would the Berlinale be without the "Forum"?
Our campaign is aimed at all those who love film. And culture. And the Berlinale. And of course, to all those who want to join us in realising this homage to the Gregors and their cinematic cosmos, and see it in the cinema.

Why would you support this project?

Especially in these times of Corona pandemic, with cinema visits a scarce rarity, we cinema lovers have become painfully aware of how Indispensable a part of our cultural self-image, our confrontation with film is. Without people like Erika and Ulrich Gregor, people who say, we will fight against all obstacles, against the lack of money, against common opinion, and make culture possible - without these people, culture disappears. This is what our film wishes to demonstrate: One can do it, one can stand up for culture and it is something worth doing.

How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?

A documentary film will be made, and reach its audience, online, TV and festival. Up until now all team members have worked free of charge on the first research interviews and trailer editing. This is unsustainable, especially as we have further interviews to film; with the Gregors, with their career companions, and with other filmmakers. And most especially, because we have to purchase screening rights to many important film clips.

Who are the people behind the project?

Behind the project are Alice Agneskirchner, documentary filmmaker and
Grimme Prize recipient and her co-producer Sandra Ehlermann, founder of Scriptmakers. You can learn more about our team here:
In addition to our protagonists Erika and Ulrich Gregor, long-time career companions such as the president of the Academy of Arts Jeanine Meerapfel, as well as prominent filmmakers and contemporary witnesses will appear in front of the camera. Already confirmed are: Alexander Kluge, István Szabó, Rudolf Thome, Doris Dörrie, Barbara and Wilfried Junge, Aki Kaurismäki, Wim Wenders, Rosa von Praunheim, Jutta Brückner, Helke Sander, Dominik Graf, Margarethe von Trotta, and Percy Adlon. Further enquires: Wong Kar-Wai, Atom Egoyan, Yo Yo Ma, Alexander Sokurow, Jim Jarmusch, Werner Herzog, Michael Verhoeven, and others.

Project updates

12/30/21 - Unser Film ist fertig gedreht und geschnitten...

Unser Film ist fertig gedreht und geschnitten und befindet sich in der Endfertigung. Kinostart wie geplant 2022. Wir danken allen Unterstützer*innen!

1/4/21 - We are very grateful that we can postpone the...

We are very grateful that we can postpone the deadline of our crowdfunding until January 25, 2021

1/4/21 - We reached our first crowdfunding goal!

We reached our first crowdfunding goal!

11/23/20 - We are now planning the premiere for 2022,...

We are now planning the premiere for 2022, which gives is more time to plan big and get the financing together. Your contribution will help us tremendously towards this goal.

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Erika and Ulrich - A Life dedicated to Films

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