AUG 2021
(under reserve!)
About the program
Open air
arkadenhof Uni Bonn
view the videos


We are back: From August 12th to 22nd, 2021, the Förderverein Filmkultur Bonn e.V. will host the International Silent Film Festival. For the second year in a row, Germany's biggest silent film festival will take place in hybrid form – the films will be shown under the open sky in the courtyard of the university and streamed on this website. We are looking forward to making our film and music programme accessible to a broad and international audience despite the pandemic. Please note: We are still working on this year's programme. In the programme calendar further down on this page you can still see the screening schedule from last year.

Silent Film Festival

In August 2021, the most-visited silent film festival in Europe will take place for the 37th time in the center of Bonn. The festival features newly-restored classics, rediscoveries and exotic rarities. The program unites popular and unknown titles from the early days of cinema. Their technical sophistication is astonishing; their aesthetics, dramatic composition and acting stand up well even today. Our audience consists of everyone from curious first-time visitors to proven film aficionados. Industry types mix with enthusiastic amateur cineastes. Young and old, families and groups of friends, couples of all ages: visitors who come alone don't stay lonely for long in the courtyard. The event is also a place of meetings and exchanges, an annual rendezvous with kindred spirits, an experience for all the senses.

Live Music

The films are accompanied by a selection of renowned musicians from around the world, most of whom have dedicated themselves solely to silent film. As soloists or in small ensembles, they provide the films with sound. The accompaniments vary from composed scores to spontaneous improvisations. Pianos and violins are the classic instruments that accompany silent film. In Bonn, a flute, drums, an oboe and a harp complement the instrumentation. Sometimes a musician plays several instruments during one film. You can find more on the musicians at the festival further down on this page.

Open Air

The films are presented outdoors in the Arkadenhof at the University of Bonn. Nearly 1500 chairs are available for viewers (this year only 500 due to the coronavirus epidemic). In case of rain, there is standing room for several hundred people in the Arkaden walkway. You're well-equipped for the film evenings with a sweater, blanket and umbrella. Every weather condition has its particular charm. Events are free but donations are requested. This means you'll have to be there early some evenings to get a seat. If the courtyard is full, the gate will be closed. You can pass the time waiting for it to get dark, and for the screening to begin, by reading or chatting in the wonderful atmosphere of the Electoral Palace. Bonn's "most beautiful movie theater" has a 100-square-meter screen and 35 mm film projectors that are used in alternation, as well as the latest digital film technology.
August 2020
Stream & Videos

Stummfilmtalk: Sabrina Zimmermann & Mark Pogolski

Festivaltalk Richard Siedhoff und Mykyta Sierov

Festivaltalk with Stephen Horne & Elizabeth Jane Baldry


Cellophon (Cello Duo)

The musical group „Cellophon“ specializes in silent film scoring. The cello duo aim to reveal entirely new perspectives, not just on the films themselves, but also on the capabilities of the cello: Paul Rittel and Tobias Stutz coax an astonishing variety of sounds from their instruments. The celli are able to mimic the sound of upright basses, guitars, or violins, sometimes even percussion instruments. The two musicians venture far beyond the limits of one genre, skillfully mixing elements from classical music, jazz, pop, and world music. Rittel and Stutz approach the films that are to be scored with careful dedication and a love for details. Repeating leitmotifs and melodies serve to illuminate large scale correlations in the film’s plot and create structure and recognizability. Sound effects and environmental noises are imitated, and dramatic plot twists are represented in the score just as much as subtle atmospheric nuances. Their goal is to present the film in the best possible light, allowing the audience to become more deeply immersed.

How to find us

Arkadenhof at the University of Bonn (Regina Pacis Weg 1, 53113 Bonn).

Right across the street from the Markt bus stop is the entrance to the courtyard. With the tram/subway, go 5 minutes from the main train station to the main university building and the "Uni/Markt" station. You can park in the surrounding parking garages such as the university garage, or enter the market garage via Stockenstrasse.

Drinks and Snacks

It'sa warm summer evening, the sun is setting over the Baroque university courtyard, and there's a cool drink in your hand. Life is good!

We offer a wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages (Fritz, Aqua con viva), Pilsner and Kölsch beer, and excellent French wines of all kinds. Our snack selection includes high-quality nibbles and organic sweets (also vegan).We request that you refrain from bringing your own drinks to the courtyard. By purchasing snacks and drinks, you actively support the event.

questions and answers
When do the doors open?

Doors open at 8 pm. The best seats are gone quickly! You can enjoy a cold beer or a nice glass of wine at the venue, drinks are sold on-site. Please be aware that we rely on the revenue from selling refreshments.

How much is the entrance fee?

Admission is free for all performances in the Arkadenhof (arcade court). There is no seat reservation for those events. The cost of admission for the sunday afternoon events at the LVR-Landesmuseum is 7€ / 5€ concessions (for students, disabled people, Bonnausweis, Artcard).

What am I allowed / not allowed to take inside?

Bags will be searched at the doors to ensure the safety of all attendees. Sharp objects and all weapons will be seized, as well as bottled drinks. You can bring anything else you like!

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