INTERFILM mourns the death of Dorothea Holloway, born Moritz (June 8, 1932 – February 3, 2017)

When I did not meet Dorothea Holloway at this year's ecumenical reception of the churches in Berlin, I was worried. Rightly, as it turned out soon. Shortly before the opening of the Berlinale, which she used to visit as long as I remember, the actress Dorothea Holloway, born in Weissenfels on the Saale and performing under her maiden name Moritz, died on February 3, in her 85th year of age.

In 1954 she graduated with a diploma at the State Drama School of Hamburg. Abigail in Arthur Miller’s "Hexenjagd" was her first unforgettable role, the drama being transferred to a radio play under the direction of Fritz Schröder-Jahn. Various theatre engagements in Hof, Augsburg, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Bochum, Hamburg, Berlin und Stuttgart among others followed, whereby she occasionally worked with such well-known directors as Fritz Kortner, Hans Schweikart, Gustaf Gründgens and Percy Adlon.

In addition to her participation in television productions (Stahlnetz, 1959-1963; Polizeifunk ruft, 1968; Hamburg Transit, 1972-1974; Tatort, 1975-2001), since the 1970s she regularly played in feature films, namely in films by Niklaus Schilling, Andrzej Wajda, Dieter Köster and Ulrike Ottinger among others. One of the unforgettable roles that she particularly liked to remember was that of the mother in the prize-winning film "Höhenfeuer" from 1985 by Swiss director Fredi Murer, which in Locarno not only got the Golden Leopard, but also the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Youth Jury. It received worldwide attention under the title "Alpine Fire" (see "Kino German-Film" No 20/1985).

Parallel to her acting, she became involved in the German-Polish reconciliation in the early 1970s, worked as a journalist and film critic, paying particular attention to Eastern European cinema. At the Film Festival Karlovy Vary she met the Catholic theologian and film journalist Ron Holloway from Chicago, who had graduated at the Protestant Faculty at the University of Hamburg with a fundamental thesis on "Beyond the image. Approaches to the Religious Dimension in the Cinema ".

When Wolf Donner, then the director of the Berlinale, appointed Ron Holloway to the selection commission with the focus "Russia" he and Dorothea moved to Berlin in 1976. Dorothea became member of the Children's Film Festival's selection committee, which she belonged to for 19 years. Ron began writing as a correspondent to various film industry publications, including the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and the Herald Tribune, and became an intermediary for the young German film in North America. Together, they launched the English publication "Kino German Film" ( in 1977 with the aim of providing a platform for the German film in the English language and culture.

Without any public support they produced one edition after the other distributing them at the festivals in Berlin and Cannes, and even after the death of Ron in 2009, Dorothea continued tirelessly, supported by her nephew Gregor Sedlag, and also by Martin Blaney. Number 107, appearing at the Berlinale 2015, was the last printed edition. Instead of concentrating on the print product, which was now difficult to distribute, she began to publish up to three weekly blogposts on, thus by the end of 2015 possibly getting the most eager individual voice for German film on the web, as her nephew Gregor Sedlag emphasizes. After all, her and Ron's commitment was honoured with a number of tributes. After Ron Holloway was awarded by the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1999, the American Foundation honoured Ron and Dorothea with the award of the "Freedom Award" for "opening our eyes to the East." In 2004 they became honorary members of INTERFILM, and in 2007 Dieter Kosslick handed over to them the Berlinale Camera.

Dorothea Holloway (together with Ron) took part in the history of INTERFILM as member of its juries, as well as of ecumenical juries. Of course she has, also been called to other, partly official festival juries. She was not only in Cannes and in Berlin, or in Mannheim and Leipzig, in the ecumenical jury. At the Film Festival Max Ophuels Prize Saarbrücken, dedicated to young German-speaking filmmakers, she was a co-founder of the INTERFILM jury, which was set up in 1985, in collaboration with the former director of the festival, Albrecht Stuby, and was a member of this jury for many years. Because support and promotion of young talents was a matter close to her and Ron’s heart. In Saarbrücken 1989, I first met her personally as a jury member.
She remained an actress to the last. Since 1998, she regularly carried through readings in urban and rural cultural houses and churches, and especially in the Berlin Cathedral, whereupon she was particularly proud of. Now she rests next to her Ron in the cemetery of the Evangelical Church Community of St. John in Alt-Moabit Berlin.

See also the obituary of Karsten Visarius on the departure of Ron Holloway on 16.12.2009: and the one of James Wall which especially recalls their beginnings as young religious inspired cinéphiles in the U.S.: