What theo did from debra neff

Erika and Ulrich
- the Gregors
A life for the movies

Erika Steinhoff, born in 1934, happened to go to a film screening of “Menschen am Sonntag” at the Free University in West Berlin on December 4, 1957. Ulrich Gregor, born in 1932, is a member of the student film club that selected and shows this film about the attitude towards life in Berlin in the 1920s. He leads the subsequent film discussion. Erika is 23 years old and Ulrich 25, they argue about the film - and become a couple. From now on they dedicate themselves to one mission: to show films.

With charm, skill and persuasion they find ways to track down the locations of the film copies in East and West Berlin and elsewhere and to borrow them. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, they often transported the heavy 35mm rifles across the city on a Vespa. After a short time, the film screenings at the university are no longer sufficient as a platform, they found the "Friends of the Deutsche Kinemathek" and move to the Academy of the Arts, where the screening capacity is soon no longer sufficient. Student protests meet Soviet revolutionary films, the German denial of National Socialism meets Alain Resnais ’film" Night and Fog ". The program is socially critical and at the same time oriented towards the art of film.

In 1970 the Gregors (Erika and Ulrich married in 1960) open the KINO ARSENAL together with some colleagues. From now on they will show films, films, films four times a day: old German films from the silent film era, the Oberhausen Manifesto, new German films by the young authors, workers films from the 1968 movement, Latin American films, Russian films, Polish French, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Swedish and Italian films , Films about black America, films from Africa, films against apartheid, films about German National Socialism, documentaries, feature films, avant-garde films - films from all over the world. Before digitization, most of these films could only be viewed in the Arsenal in Germany. The cinema was almost always full.

The BERLINALE, the West German Film Festival, founded in 1950, was at its end in terms of content and art at the end of the 1960s. A German film (“OK” by Michael Verhoeven) that was critical of the Vietnam War led to the festival being abandoned. One did not want to endanger the German-American friendship. A political scandal. After that, the BERLINALE had to open up politically and artistically to the new era of social upheaval caused by the 1968 movements, otherwise it had no chance of surviving, neither with the audience nor with the artists. The GREGORS were commissioned by the Berlin Senate to manage and organize the newly created section of the Berlinale: THE INTERNATIONAL FORUM OF THE YOUNG FILMS. From today's perspective, we know that the FORUM not only saved the Berlinale, but made it what the BERLINALE stands for worldwide: a cosmopolitan, political and artistic film festival. This is unique. This would not be the case without the GREGORS, ​​who shaped the FORUM from 1970 - 2000 - i.e. for 30 years. Many German and international filmmakers were invited by the Gregors to present their first films in the FORUM - among them: Peter Greenaway, Helke Sander, Jim Jarmusch, Jutta Brückner, Edgar Reitz, Claudia von Alemann, Michael Moore, Margarethe von Trotta, Wong Kar -Wai, Wim Wenders, Doris Dörrie, Rosa von Praunheim, Chantal Akerman, Theo Angelopoulos, Jeanine Meerapfel, Aki Kaurismäki and many more