With around 30 short and feature-length films, a group exhibition, stage and panel events, Forum Expanded provides an open platform for film formats from a broader range of disciplines, including visual art, theatre, performance, music and the media.
In combination with the impetus given by politics and society, these works create a discursive framework of a deliberately international character which has the potential to grasp cinema anew and change it in lasting ways.
A key feature of the Forum and Forum Expanded are their close affiliation with Arsenal and its year-round cinema programme, distribution arm and in-house archive (the Living Archive).
Arsenal’s curatorial work provides impulses for the festival programme which can in turn be expanded on and explored in greater depth in the work carried out at the cinema.
Film critic Christoph Terhechte took over the leadership of the Forum in 2002 supported by Anna Hoffmann.
Fra Essay Winners 2015
He consolidated the selection, preserved the programme’s appetite for risk-taking and consistently provided the section with fresh momentum in the face of a rapidly changing festival landscape. In 2008 the Friends, led from 2004 by Milena Gregor, Birgit Kohler and Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, became Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art; the International Forum of New Cinema became simply the Forum.
Now they received an official invitation to take over responsibility for an independent programme to be shown as part of the festival and be on an equal footing with it.
The International Forum of New Cinema sought to challenge its audiences, showed previously unknown or underrepresented cinematic forms and documented, as Ulrich Gregor once put it, “the multiplicity and complexity of new film styles between avant-garde cinema, narrative film and documentary”.
This has led to the creation of a living archive of 10,000 films from around the world which redefines perceptions of film history.
In 2000, the Friends moved with the Berlinale to Potsdamer Platz.