Dortmund | Cologne IWFF 2019 appoints new director

© Julia Reschucha

We are pleased to introduce our new festival director Maxa Zoller. Zoller will take over the position from Silke J. Räbiger who has been with the festival for 30 years. The new festival under Zoller's direction will take place in Dortmund from 9 - 14 April 2019.

Silke J. Räbiger moved from Hamburg to Dortmund in 1983, joining the Festival team in 1986. In 1992, she was appointed director of what was then the Women's Film Festival Dortmund. Since 2007, she has served as artistic director of Dortmund | Cologne IWFF, which alternates between the cities of Dortmund and Cologne every year. She has played a key role in defining IWFF, introducing the section Film Education for young audiences in 1991, the National Competition for Women Directors of Photography in 2001 and the Feature Film Competition for Women Directors in 2005, to mention just a few stages in her career. Dortmund | Cologne IWFF thanks her for over three decades of loyal and constructive collaboration.

Silke J. Räbiger also looks back on many intensive years at the Festival and is optimistic about the future of IWFF:

"I am stepping down from my role as Festival Director after over 30 years and handing over this task to my successor, Maxa Zoller. She will continue to organise the Festival together with our long-serving General Manager Christina Essenberger and the rest of the team. She has my full support."

Maxa Zoller is a free-lance film curator and lecturer in experimental film history, theory and contemporary art. She was previously an associate lecturer at the American University in Cairo, where she lived for six years.

"Being able to listen to and see more stories told by women means promoting a cinema culture that is socially relevant. What is missing in German film culture is a sharp self-analysis of why we work, think, dream in such gender-specific ways and how we can change this. We need a change of perspective. Who is speaking and who is listening?"

Zoller has taught at London Goldsmiths College, Kingston University and Sotheby’s Institute of Art. As a curator, she is interested in trans-genre films which embrace art and the cinema to address feminist, postcolonial and post-socialist themes. She has organised film programmes for the Locarno Film Festival, Tate Modern and South London Gallery and curated the solo show of Expanded Cinema artist Anthony McCall at the Amsterdam EYE Film Museum. Since 2014, she has held the position of film curator at Art Basel.

Press releases



Previous article