30 Jahre Werkleitz
On the occasion of its 30th birthday, Werkleitz Gesellschaft, together with Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and the industry meeting of the Saxony-Anhalt State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture, invited to a film gala at the Luchs Kino in Halle on 29 September and to a public afterparty at the Felsenblick restaurant.
Highlights on the screen – Die Allgemeinen Geschäftsbedingungen by Amelie Befeldt, Hardly Working by Total Refusal and Umbra by Florian Fischer und Johannes Krell – 3 Werkleitz supported productions. In the foyer, the video installations Unknown Label by Nicolas Gourault and Living without a body by Marleine van der Werf were presented.
The Werkleitz Society was founded in 1993 by film and culture makers from the new and old federal states in the Saale village of Werkleitz of the same name. In the years that followed, the artists' community developed into a "global village", as its concept of a rurally situated media centre probably made it the first village in the world with a network connection. The Werkleitz Biennale was launched there. The first Biennale in Germany, it received the "Special Exhibition" award from the International Association of Art Critics in 2002 and was announced as the "documenta of the East" by Ulrich Wickert on Tagesthemen. Since 2008, it has transformed into an annual festival which, under the direction of Werkleitz director Daniel Herrmann, has focused primarily on the transformation processes in the Mansfeld region for the past three years and will return to Halle from 2024.
In addition to the festival, the central pillar of the Werkleitz Society is the scholarship programme for European media artists, which was initiated by Werkleitz and has been running since 1995. In 2018, the programme was upgraded to the European Media Art Platform (EMAP) with the support of the EU's Creative Europe programme. With the help of EMAP, 16 other media art organisations across Europe are producing new artistic works under the direction of Werkleitz.