Press photographers have accompanied and documented the Berlinale from the very beginning. This also had a lasting impact on the image of the Berlinale, which was founded in 1951 in what was then West Berlin as a true festival for the audience.
The heart of the exhibition, shown here for the first time, is photos made by Berlin press photographer Mario Mach (1923–2012), who accompanied the Berlinale professionally from the very beginning and until the 1990s. Like his colleagues Heinz Köster (1917–1967) and Joachim Diederichs (1924–2010), Mach was present at press events, from the appearance of the stars to their departure. Arrival at the hotel, the film premieres, walks around the city and the crowds of fans, the film ball, and awarding of the prizes were part of the established program.
The film-related material left by Mario Mach, as well as the collections of Köster and Diederichs, are stored in the photo archive of the Deutsche Kinemathek. Also found there are large portions of the work of Erika Rabau (?–2016), the official Berlinale photographer, who began this in the 1970s, as well as pictures taken by Japanese photographer and filmmaker Fumiko Matsuyama (1954–2014), who lived in Berlin and who was present at the Berlinale since the 1990s.
Complemented by the works of present-day Berlinale photographers like Gerhard Kassner and Christian Schulz, an extensive collection has been created. It not only depicts the history of the Berlinale, but also the day-to-day and cultural history of the Federal Republic of Germany, both before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The exhibition draws from this collection.