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.


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.

In the photo: 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).

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