Your browser is not supported, please upgrade to the newest version.

Madeleine Bernstorff
Lecturer in Documentary Forms


Madeleine Bernstorff has completed courses of study at the University of Munich, the Zurich F+F School of Art and Design, and the Academy for Fine Arts in Munich as a Media Art major.

As an author and film curator she focuses on research-based and often collaborative projects with an emphasis on cinematography, film essays and the work of activists in film, including cinema of the avant-garde and resistance movements.

In 1984 she co-founded the Sputnik cinema in Berlin and the feminist cinema group Blickpilotin in 1989. Her contextualizing film and video programs are about early cinema and the suffragette movement, the anti-colonial filmmaker René Vautier, the early video activism of Carole Roussopoulos or the camera helmet artist Margaret Raspé, films about migrants, feminist camp, as well as political film by amateurs such as Ella Bergmann-Michel. 

Bernstorff is a member of the commission of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and teaches film history – usually for art students – as a visiting lecturer and in teaching projects at universities and art academies in Germany and abroad, including work on boundary areas, dilemmas and performability of the documentary format.

In 1995 she published a German translation of texts by Trinh T. Minh-ha. The book Kabul/Teheran 1979ff. “Film Landscapes, Cities under Stress and Migration” (2006) was translated into Spanish as “Spliced Histories: 64 años de cine afganoins.” In 2018 the magazine Pape Mamadou Samb aka Papisto Boy about the Senegalese wall artist of the same name was published as Papisto Boy’s Art in Public/L’Art de Papisto Boy dans l’éspace public. The research-based texts “Transnationales Lernen” and “Feminismen an der dffb” on the history of the German Film and Television Academy Berlin were published in 2017.

Essays on films by filmmakers such as Chantal Akerman, Roee Rosen, Nina Menkes, René Vautier, Bodil Furu, Sandra Schäfer, Harun Farocki, Friedl vom Gröller/Kubelka, Milena Gierke, Angelika Levi, Aykan Safoglu, Maya Schweizer, Ruth Novaczek, Cécile Decugis, filmmakers in Iran, and performative handling of the camera have appeared in various catalogues, readers and magazines. Film reviews have appeared in Der Freitag, kolik-film, cargo film, taz, Frauen und Film, Tagesspiegel, Yalta, and Springerin.

She has worked in film projects in various production roles. Occasionally she makes films/videos in small format and shows them in an art context as trailers, video letters, Super 8 films and as formal exhibits. In 2016/2017 she worked with the group SPOTS 23 as the producer for short video commercials entitled “Disband the NSU Complex!”

Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf Fischerstraße 110, 40476 Düsseldorf

Fon: +49.211.49 18 -0