Claudia Dillmann

Director of Frankfurt’s Film Museum Claudia Dillmann to Step Down After Twenty Years

Claudia Dillmann, who joined Frankfurt’s Deutsche Filmmuseum (German Film Museum) as director and its Deutsche Filminstitut (German Film Institute) as codirector in 1997, has announced her early retirement, effective September, Monopol reports. In a statement, the museum said that Dillmann intends “to rededicate herself to writing—as well as explore opportunities as a cultural consultant.” An international search will begin for Dillmann’s successor.

Commenting on her decision, Dillmann emphasized that she leaves the museum “in good shape” as its exhibitions program has been planned out through spring 2019. She added that there is enough creative space for the development of new ideas with a significantly improved financial footing for both institutions as well as an establishment of promising partnerships, including with the Frankfurter Goethe-Universität (Goethe University of Frankfurt) and the Bundesarchiv (Federal Archive).

Kulturdezernentin (Head of Cultural Affairs) Ina Hartwig expressed her regret over Dillmann’s announcement, stating that she “leaves the institution in an excellent position, with a high profile, an outstanding staff, and the best perspectives for further development under new leadership.” Hartwig also praised Dillmann’s cultural education projects.

As the museum’s director, Dillmann founded the “goEast-Festival für den Mittel- und Osteuropäischen Film” (goEast Festival for Central and Eastern European Film) in Wiesbaden and introduced the online platform From 2004–2011, she was president of the Vereinigung der Europäischen Filmarchive und Kinematheken (European Union Film Archives and Libraries). She also played a significant role in the digitization of the Deutsche Filmerbe (German Film Heritage) and oversaw the construction of the new film museum (2007–2011), which has increased its number of annual visitors from 125,000 to 200,000.

Dillmann’s announcement is part of a wave of significant personnel changes in Frankfurt’s cultural scene, including Susanne Gaensheimer, former director of the Museums für Moderne Kunst (MMK) (Museum of Modern Art), becoming head of Düsseldorf’s Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW Art Collection); Oliver Reese of the Schauspiel Frankurt (Frankfurt Theater), replacing Claus Peymann as artistic director for drama at the Berliner Ensembles (Berliner Ensemble); and Max Hollein, director of Frankfurt’s Städel Museum, who has been succeeded by art historian Philipp Demandt.