What is a German film?

To decide whether films and indivduals should be listed in filmportal.de begins by asking:
What is a German film?

Significant participation: In principle, all films that can be identified as German productions will be listed in the portal. Any film brought about with an active and significant participation of a German production company will be treated as a German film in the portal. However, given the growing globalization of the film industry, productions with mere financial and no creative participation of German companies will not be listed at this point.

Theatrical release: A further criteria is the theatrical release and public screening of films. Feature films initially or primarily produced for TV or direct distribution on Video/DVD are per definition not part of the German filmography. Yet considering television's special function as a producer in Germany, as well as the difficulty to discriminate between TV productions and theatrical releases in some instances, filmportal.de does include exceptions.

Full-length films and short films: filmportal.de classifies all films shorter than 38 minutes runtime as short films.

Categories and genres: filmportal.de differentiates five main categories without taking into account the length of a film: feature, documentary, experimental, animation, newsreel. At present, filmportal.de will not categorize films in terms of genre, because of the numerous instances of friction and discontinuity in the development of film genres in Germany and the ambiguity of the categorizing terms.

Individual filmographies: Not all productions in which a person was involved can be retrieved, because foreign productions and TV-films are currently only included as an exception.

Exceptions: In general, filmportal.de documents all films according to the same standards. Nevertheless, films produced under the Nazi regime are an exception: filmportal.de cannot and will not provide "neutral" synopses for films with obviously anti-Semitic, racist and propagandistic content. Therefore, synopses of films from that period are accompanied by the following disclaimer:

"Any film produced or co-produced in or by Germany that premiered between 1933 and 1945 is generally classified as a film of the Nazi era in filmportal.de. During that period, film production was subject to political control, and/or was purposefully used as an instrument for propaganda. Contents, contemporary documents as well as awards and predicates related to these films must thus be regarded as part of the Nazi production and reception history."

Due to this, filmportal.de currently does not present contemporary documents for films from the NS-time, as these texts could be abused outside the academic context for belittling or glorifying the NS-regime. At present, concepts how this contemporary material could be dealt with in filmportal.de are considered and discussed. Moreover, all films from between 1933 and 1945 are linked with the portal's topic "Film in the National-Socialist State".