The Reichsfilmkammer (RFK; English: Film Chamber of the Reich) was a public corporation based in Berlin that regulated the film industry in National Socialist Germany between 1933 and 1945. Everyone in the German Reich who wanted to work on films in any capacity had to be a member; lack of membership meant in effect a ban on employment.
The predecessor of the Reichsfilmkammer was the SPIO (Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft; in English, the "Film Industry Summit Organisation").
The Reichsfilmkammer was established on the basis of the Gesetz über die Errichtung einer vorläufigen Filmkammer ("Law for the Establishment of a Temporary Film Chamber") of 14 July 1933. Under the Reichskulturkammergesetz ("Law of the Reich Culture Chamber") of 22 September 1933 the Film Chamber was integrated as a subdivision of the newly founded Reichskulturkammer ("Culture Chamber of the Reich").
The establishment of the Reichsfilmkammer was preceded by an ordinance of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda (Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda), which prohibited Jews and foreigners from any participation in the German film industry.
The presidents of the Reichsfilmkammer who reported directly to the president of the Reichskulturkammer, Joseph Goebbels, were as follows:
- Fritz Scheuermann, lawyer, (1933-1935)
- Oswald Lehnich, Minister of the Economy for Württemberg (1935-1939)
- Carl Froelich, film director (1939-1945)
The Reichsfilmkammer had a key role in the film-related politics of the National Socialist government. Its mission was principally:
- the establishment of compulsory control over all those active in any aspect of film production (production, distribution, cinema);
- the regulation of the cinema industry (e.g., admission prices, composition of programs, advertising and so on)
- the regulation of contracts, for example between filmmakers and film producers, or between theatre owners and tenants
- supervision of the Film Credit Bank (Filmkreditbank GmbH)
- regulation of film exports
- this article is translated from its equivalent on the German Wikipedia (retrieved 25 November 2007)
- (German) Gesetz über die Einrichtung einer vorläufigen Filmkammer vom 14. Juli 1933 (text of law)
- (German) Reichskulturkammergesetz vom 22. September 1933 (text of law)