INTERFILM is the international network for the dialogue between church and film. It promotes the appreciation of cinema’s artistic, spiritual and social significance in the church and calls attention to the relevance of church, theology and religion for cinema. INTERFILM is looking beyond the screen.
INTERFILM acts in an ecumenical context. As film constitutes a global form of expression and communication, so INTERFILM is committed to ecumenism: a mutual understanding beyond the limits of confessions, churches and religions. INTERFILM joins church and cinema, cultures and religions.
International festivals are the hot spots of film culture where the diversity of world cinema unfolds. Thus festivals are critical for the activities of INTERFILM. INTERFILM participates in festivals through ecumenical, interreligious or solely Protestant juries which award prizes to outstanding films. By his members INTERFILM supports the distribution of the awarded films in their respective countries.
Besides Berlin, Cannes, and Venice, INTERFILM is represented at numerous other festivals such as Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Montreal, or Yerevan. Church film juries award prizes to films which
• are of high artistic quality
• lend expression to a human viewpoint corresponding with the message of the Scripture, or stimulates debate with the Biblical tradition
• make audiences sensitive to spiritual, social and ethic values.
The connections between church, religion and film are either direct and obvious, or complex and hidden. Elements of religious traditions are reflected in the stories and symbols, images and parables of films as well as in common values, attitudes and visions. In order to explore and comprehend this multilayered relationship INTERFILM regularly organizes seminars and conferences, often in cooperation with ecumenical partners.
INTERFILM was founded in 1955 by delegates of Protestant film associations in Europe. Actually it embraces mainly Protestant but also Orthodox, Anglican and Jewish members, individuals as well as institutions. The General Assembly meeting every three years elects the Steering Committee and the President.