In 1994, Dr Kurt Denzer, with the help of Kiel University, held the very first international archaeology film festival, CINARCHEA, in Kiel, Germany. The number of films and series produced at that time was so high and the breadth of quality of the content so varied that the film festival filled a major gap.

The AiD (Archaeology in Germany) called it “a festival for fans and experts”. Since 1994, it has shown a variety of cinematic forms and accompanied them with media criticism at symposia such as “Backlighting the Bog Body – Great Emotions in Archaeology Films” or “Findings, Films, False Friends – Archaeology Films Used for Profit and Propaganda”. Exhibitions further broadened its image, as did the demonstrations of restoration work on films from the early days of cinematography – the work of film archaeologists.

Content/selection of films

The content is not restricted to a single archaeological theme or cultural period. It seeks instead to give a comprehensive overview of the world of archaeological films that focuses just as much on a range of different research areas (excavation, restoration, conservation, experimental archaeology, underwater and aerial archaeology, etc.) as on different genres of film (overview films, documentation of specific excavation and research projects, computer-animated reconstructions, feature films, as well as animation and experimental films on the subject of archaeology). This means that the films shown at the festival are not just typical documentaries, but also experimental discussions on archaeological subjects. Films that give an artistic perspective on the topic are also naturally included. The criteria with which the jury selects the final programme involve a combination of scientific rigour and cinematic quality.


In addition to archaeology films, the festival has also always worked with historical film findings. Screenings were accompanied by a simultaneous exhibition and a scientific symposium dedicated to various sub-areas of the presentation of archaeology in film, the results of which were published in a symposium journal after the festival.

In June 2013, CINARCHEA found a new home at St. Paul’s Monastery in Brandenburg. Under the label CINARCHEA @ Archäomediale, the festival joins the variety of events held by the State Archaeology Museum. Over its first years, the main goal is for it to become a part of the media landscape of Brandenburg and Berlin, before developing into a major festival event. In 2015, the Archäomediale film and media festival was held from 14 to 17 October.

In St. Paul’s Monastery for the second time, the Archäomediale & Cinarchea presented national and international products over four consecutive days, from 14-17 October 2015, under the patronage of Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Member of the Bundestag, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs). Subjects here varied from DNA examinations on unearthed bones to recent spectacular findings and even experimental procedures. With this event, the festival covered the whole spectrum of film genres. Documentaries, animated films and feature films were all included in the programme. This was also the first year that the festival ran non-cinematic formats, including several presentations from developers of museum apps. The Archäomediale & Cinarchea event was rounded off by scientific talks on film and science, a round table and the photo exhibition “Archaeology” by the Munich photographer Thomas Kalak.

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[Translate to Englisch:] Das Projekt des Archäologischen Landesmuseum Brandenburg wurde gefördert durch das Ministerium für Kultur und Medien
[Translate to Englisch:] Das Projekt des Landesmuseums Brandenburg wurde gefördert
[Translate to Englisch:] Das Projekt des Archäologischen Landesmuseum Brandenburg wurde gefördert durch die Kulturstiftung
[Translate to Englisch:] Das Projekt des Archäologischen Landesmuseum Brandenburg wurde gefördert durch Kultur Gemeinschaften