Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNewsEstablishment of the Wim Wenders Foundation in Düsseldorf

Establishment of the Wim Wenders Foundation in Düsseldorf

People around the globe have seen the films of Wim Wenders, many have been influenced by them, and some of the films have become classics or cult films. They belong to a collective memory of cinema-goers of every age and many nationalities. The fact that his work should belong to everyone in future is a desire that the filmmaker has cherished for many years. There is now an absolutely realistic and perhaps unique opportunity that this will come true with the establishment of a foundation.

Wim and Donata Wenders have set up the Wim Wenders Foundation for this purpose so that one can actually begin with making the oeuvre of Wim Wenders available to the public. The foundation has its headquarters in the North Rhine-Westphalian capital of Düsseldorf and will make a valuable contribution to cultural life in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and to its cultural exchange far beyond the state’s borders.

The foundation will initially begin by acquiring the rights to all films  of Wim Wenders which are held by third parties by the end of 2012. With the dedicated support of the Federal State of NRW, the City of Düsseldorf and the Cultural Foundation of the Federal States as well as private donors, the foundation has succeeded in raising the funds to buy the rights. The State Secretary for Media of the Federal State of NRW, Dr. Marc Jan Eumann, the NRW Ministry of Culture, and the Arts Officer of City of Düsseldorf, Hans-Georg Lohe have accompanied the project from the outset with great engagement. Petra Müller, managing director of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, brought all of those involved together. The Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the City of Düsseldorf will be represented in the foundation’s curatorium. The City of Düsseldorf has appointed Beat Wismer, the director-general of the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, as a board member. The Competence Center for Foundations at the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf advised Wim Wenders on the strategy for establishing the foundation. The first managing director of the Wim Wenders Foundation will be Carolin von Roth

Beat Wismer (Generaldirektor der Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast), Bernd Desinger (Direktor Filmmuseum Düsseldorf), Hans-Georg Lohe (Kulturdezernent Stadt Düsseldorf), Donata und Wim Wenders, Petra Müller (Geschäftsführerin der Film- und Medienstiftung NRW), Marc Jan Eumann (Medienstaatssekretär des Landes NRW).  

The coming year will see the films from recent years which had already belonged to Wim Wenders being transferred to the foundation as well as his photographic, artistic and literary oeuvre step by step. The cinematic (and finally the complete) oeuvre is to be maintained, preserved and made accessible to the general public and also for study purposes and academic research. 

In addition, the Wim Wenders Foundation has set itself the goal of supporting innovative narrative art. New media, whose exploration characteristically runs as a common thread through all of Wim Wenders' works, will be supported by the awarding of bursaries to young filmmakers and video artists whose vision is to tell stories with new aesthetic and technical means and to enrich and renew our visual language. Consequently, the so-called Wim Wenders Bursary is to be launched next year in collaboration with the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.

Quotations from the partners 

Hannelore Kraft, prime-minister of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia:
„From my conversations with Wim Wenders I know that this foundation is a matter that is near to his heart. And it is also a matter that is near to the heart of the cultural region of North Rhine-Westphalia. I am therefore all the more pleased that the Wim Wenders Foundation will now find its home in  North Rhine-Westphalia. The film region of NRW and Wim Wenders have close ties with one another: from the time when he played truant from school for the Oberhausen Short Film Days through such legendary early works as „Alice In The Cities“ to the international successes such as – most recently –  the Oscar-nominated dance film „Pina“. NRW has accompanied and promoted the films of Wim Wenders. It is only right that the foundation also wants to provide lasting support for the next generation of filmmakers in addition to the maintenance of the impressive film oeuvre – something that is particularly important for us. This foundation will have a lasting effect in enriching the film cultural scene in NRW. Therefore, I support Wim Wenders in the establishment of the foundation.“ 

Wim Wenders, filmmaker and founder of the Wim Wenders Foundation: 
„I am really looking forward to working with the Wim Wenders Foundation in my home town and to the collaboration with the friends and colleagues in Düsseldorf.“

Hans-Georg Lohe, Arts Officer of the City of Düsseldorf: „I am very pleased that, in a joint action, we managed to set the Wim Wenders Foundation up in Düsseldorf, Wim Wenders' home town. The Film Museum and Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast will work closely with the Wim Wenders Foundation.“

Petra Müller, managing director of Film- und Medienstiftung NRW:
„With the Wim Wenders Foundation, the impressive oeuvre of the great filmmaker, author and photographer now has a home. Thanks to the joint efforts of Wim and Donata Wenders, the Federal State of NRW, the City of Düsseldorf, the Cultural Foundation of the Federal States, private donors and the Filmstiftung NRW, it has been possible to establish the foundation in Wenders' native town Düsseldorf. It is intended that his works will be archived, studied and evaluated here. It’s particularly nice that, over and above this, the next generation of filmmakers are also to profit. Next year will already see us jointly awarding a Wim Wenders Bursary for innovative filmmaking. We are very pleased and have been glad to help.“

Beat Wismer, director-general of the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast and board member of the Wim Wenders Foundation: „We were happy to accept the offer to work together with Wim Wenders – and that’s not only because I personally have had a great affinity to his films since the seventies. The Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast sees itself as the artistic memory and conscience of Düsseldorf as a city of the arts. The collaboration with the Wim Wenders Foundation will help significantly towards doing justice to this self-image.“ 

Links to the works of Wim and Donata Wenders: