victoria duckett:I would like to begin by asking you about your history. What it is that you do today, and how did you come to engage with the archive?
karola gramann:I am the curator (in collaboration with other people) of an organization that was founded in 2000. It is now our fifteenth anniversary. It is called the Kinothek Asta Nielsen [Frankfurt], after the great Danish actress, whom we consider to be very important in the history of cinema and the cinema of women [figure 2]. I'm responsible for programming and related events.
vd:How did you decide to do this? You said you started fifteen years ago.
kg:The idea came up at the end of the '80s, when we realized that a lot of feminist filmmaking and the filmmaking of the new women's movement was lost. You know, even in 1989–90, it was difficult, for example, to do a retrospective of Elfi Mikesch films or films from the early 1980s. So we thought that before it all got lost, we should start an initiative to not only collect or archive the material, but also to keep alive the history of that very, very important phase of filmmaking in the Federal Republic of Germany. This was also important, of course, internationally.
vd:How did you go about collecting? This was in the 1980s; did you already have some materials?
kg:No. I remember that I had a conversation with the now-producer Ulrike Zimmermann in 1989, and we founded the Kinothek in the year 2000. So it's been a long process. And our main objective was not …