How does a film work? Answers to questions on the "illusion of movement" and the "illusion of reality" are provided by the permanent exhibition of the first film museum worldwide: the prehistory and history of film and cinema, artistic and technical aspects of this fascinating medium of the 20th century are presented to museumgoers on two floors. Mysterious equipment such as Zoetrop and kinetoscope are waiting for the pictures on or in them to be set in motion. Film history, film aesthetics and film technology are brought vividly to life. Four to five special exhibitions are staged throughout the year. Here the Film Museum depicts the development of German film history, individual stars, directors and genres as well as film architecture, costumes, stills and much more.
The cinema is the Museum's heart. Its program ranges from retrospectives, documentary and avant garde films with piano accompaniment, via directors, actors and actresses, country portraits through to film premieres and film festivals.
The German Film Museum also manages an archive of film equipment, photos, posters, texts and music, many collections on directors of the new German film, estates with objects and documents as well as a comprehensive film library.