The Oberhausen Manifesto (1962)
The collapse of the conventional German film finally removes the economic basis for a mode of filmmaking whose attitude and practice we reject. With it the new film has a chance to come to life.
German short films by young authors, directors, and producers have in recent years received a large number of prizes at international festivals and gained the recognition of international critics. These works and these successes show that the future of the German film lies in the hands of those who have proven that they speak a new film language.
Just as in other countries, the short film has become in Germany a school and experimental basis for the feature film.
We declare our intention to create the new German feature film.
This new film needs new freedoms. Freedom from the conventions of the established industry. Freedom from the outside influence of commercial partners. Freedom from the control of special interest groups.
We have concrete intellectual, formal, and economic conceptions about the production of the new German film We are as a collective prepared to take economic risks.
The old film is dead. We believe in the new one.
Oberhausen, February 28, 1962