Establishment of the Wim Wenders Foundation in Düsseldorf

People around the globe have seen the films of Wim Wenders, many have been affected by them, and some of these films have become classics or cult films. They belong to a collective memory of cinema-goers of every age and many nationalities. A desire that the filmmaker has cherished for many years was that in the future his work might belong “to everyone”. There is now a realistic and unique opportunity that this will come true.

For this purpose Wim and Donata Wenders have set up the Wim Wenders Foundation, so that the oeuvre of Wim Wenders can be made 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 far beyond the state’s borders.

By the end of 2012 the foundation will initially acquire the rights to all films of Wim Wenders which are held by third parties. 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 those 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.

The establishment of the Wim Wenders Foundation was announced in Duesseldorf on Friday December 14th 2012 at a press conference at the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW in the presence of Wim and Donata Wenders, Dr. Marc Jan Eumann, Hans-Georg Lohe, Petra Müller, Beat Wismer, Carolin von Roth and Bernd Desinger (director of the Duesseldorf Film Museum).

In the coming year, all films from recent years that already belonged to Wim Wenders will be transferred to the foundation as well as his photographic, artistic and literary oeuvre, step by step. The cinematic work (and finally the complete oeuvre) is to be maintained, preserved and made accessible to the general public, also for study purposes and academic research. In addition, the Wim Wenders Foundation will support innovative narrative storytelling. The exploration of New Media, which characteristically runs through Wim Wenders’ films, will be supported by the awarding of grants to young filmmakers and video artists whose vision is to tell stories with new aesthetic and technical means and to thus enrich and renew our visual language. Consequently, the so-called Wim Wenders Grants are to be launched next year in collaboration with the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.