The history of the “Filmwochenende”


The quantity of cinemas in Würzburg differed in many respects in 1974 when the “Filminitiative Würzburg e.V.” was established almost fourty years ago. At that time two cinemas offered about 10 cinema halls in Würzburg. One of those two was the "City Kino" at the Barbarossaplatz. It had the character of a repertory cinema. Unfortunately at that time the cinema owners were not interested in promoting their films with special events as for example the invitation of a film producer.  At that time the producers only played a secondary role for the normal spectator.

In contrast the aim of the “Filminitiative” was to focus on the creative person behind the camera and reveal the work behind the scenes. Thus our goal was to give the audience an intimate and more in-depth view of the international movie industry. The status of a university town and its multilingualism offered the opportunity to present productions from overseas which at that time still were unknown to distributors. Above all we were eager to create an opportunity for film fans to meet the makers and engage in discussions with them. This kind of attention of the audience was a rarity in these days.

Over the years the changes in the cinema industry in general and in Würzburg in particular, impacted us greatly and our organization began to grow bigger than we ever could have imagined. For instance quality demands in terms of projection, especially regarding sound, increased and filmgoers insisted upon greater convenience and geographical concentration of screening locations. A trend already displayed within the multiplexes.

Originally we screened exclusively in the “City” on three days. We then moved to a bigger venue, the “Passage”, which was replaced by a bank within one year. Subsequently, we settled into “Corso”, where we gradually began to use each of its three theaters over a four-day period. Finally, we included the “Cinemaxx” into our schedule. Two exceptions aside, the “Filmwochenende” took place during the last weekend of January. With the dissolution of the “Corso”, the festival moved its date to fourteen days prior to Easter.

Today, the festival continues to span over a four-day period, while screening more than 60 features, documentaries, and shorts. In addition, it hosts around thirty guests and sells roughly 14,000 tickets. Amidst this delightful progress, the organizational structure of the “Filminitiative” has basically remained the same. The film festival continues to be solely organized by volunteers and is one of the last remaining non-profit festivals in Germany. 

If you are interested to join our roughly 200 volunteers, feel free to contact our office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Alternatively, you can call 0931-15077 to speak directly to our office manager about possible assignments. We are looking for people preparing the festival as well as organizing at the event itself.