Potsdam, with a population of 178,000, is the capital of the federal state of Brandenburg and part of the Greater Berlin Area. This innovative city of culture has been a centre of film for more than 100 years and is still today the site of Studio Babelsberg with 20 studios, making it Europe's largest contiguous complex. With such a wealth of facilities, it comes as no surprise that the Potsdam film industry has an annual revenue of well over 120$ million, of which Studio Babelsberg AG alone generates approx. US$ 93 million. More than 3,500 people work in 16 film studios and around 130 media companies on the 46-hectare site of the Media City.
Potsdam has a rich heritage of celebrating cinema. Since its inception in the 1970s, the Sehsuechte, an international student film festival aims to provide a platform for young filmmakers from around the world, whilst promoting the exchange of ideas and techniques with film professionals, as well as showcasing their work to a broader audience. Potsdam’s festival scene also aims to open the scope of religious and cultural cinema by hosting the annual Jewish Film Festival. Now in its 26th year, the festival shines a light on the world of Jewish cinema and holds discussions with directors and actors.
Potsdam has identified "film" as one of the core creative sectors for urban development. The city’s policies state that “Potsdam is a city of culture and values and promotes creativity”. In the spirit of the mission statement Potsdam supports traditional art and culture, as well as their contemporary formats. It stands for cultural diversity and education as well as cultural exchange for all generations. The city’s Department of Culture has also developed programmes to promote and support Festivals, cultural projects and choir projects.
As a Creative City of Film , Potsdam envisages:
- forming a network with other Creative Cities for the preservation, research and dissemination of regional and international film heritage;
- using film as the medium and subject of lifelong learning to inhance inter-generation connections;
- supporting the city's various film festivals and strengthening facilities for film education;
- promoting greater sustainability in film production and film tourism;
- cooperating with the Creative Cities of Film as well as in the promotion of festivals and young filmmaking talent; and
- reinforcing the UCCN’s objectives worldwide and supporting in expanding the Network in underrepresented regions.