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The Goethe-Institut is a worldwide, non-profit organization active in the promotion of the German language and culture. It represents the Federal Republic of Germany in the field of international cultural exchange. With over 128 cultural centers in more than 76 countries, the Goethe-Institut organizes cultural programs in collaboration with its partners abroad,
offers German language courses, as well as advice, support and training for teachers of German, provides up-to-date information on Germany in its libraries and information centers.

The work of the Goethe-Institut has two main underlying principles:

Partnership: the Institute collaborates with its partners in the host countries on topics and projects of mutual interest.

Culture in the widest sense: for the Goethe-Institut, culture is not just Fassbinder, Goethe and Habermas, but also embraces popular culture, socio-political debate and the world of technology.

The Film Department of the Goethe-Institut is responsible for the cultural presentation and promotion of German film abroad. Like all the activities of the Goethe-Institut, this work is based on the principle of intercultural dialogue and on close collaboration with foreign partners. A highly specialized staff is integrated into the professional film sectors of the host countries. The Institute is therefore able to work on major, high-profile events as well as ensuring a continuous presence and visibility for German film almost everywhere in the world. Whilst this clearly has a positive effect on the film industry in Germany, the film work of the Goethe-Institut is culturally oriented. Through themed seasons and retrospectives, it promotes a wide diversity of German cinema past and present, including features, shorts, documentaries, animation and avant-garde cinema. The accent is on the cinema of today - whilst also keeping alive the rich history of German film. In addition, the Goethe-Institut both organises and collaborates on workshops, symposia and film festivals, and also provides advice and information on all areas of German film. The film work of the Goethe-Institut is aimed not only at the general public and the media, but also at the education sector (teachers, scholars), filmmakers, critics, producers, distributors, funders and politicians.

The Film Department also offers an internet service on German film (in English and in German): the Guide to German Film (Wegweiser zum deutschen Film), edited by the distinguished film critic Klaus Eder.