48°04′00″N 11°33′00″E / 48.0667°N 11.5500°E / 48.0667; 11.5500

Bavaria Film
FormerlyMünchener Lichtspielkunst AG (1919–1932)
Company typeGmbH
IndustryFilm industry
FoundedAs Münchener Lichtspielkunst AG (1919 (1919))
as Bavaria Film AG (21 September 1932 (1932-09-21))
FounderPeter Ostermayr
Wilhelm Kraus
Number of employees
242 (2011)

Bavaria Film is a German film production and distribution company. It is one of Europe's largest film production companies, with some 30 subsidiaries.[1][2]


The studios were founded in 1919, when Munich-raised film producer Peter Ostermayr converted the private film company he had founded in 1907, Münchener Lichtspielkunst GmbH, to the public company Münchener Lichtspielkunst AG (Emelka), and acquired a large area (ca. 356.000 m²) for the studios in Geiselgasteig, a district of Munich's southern suburb Grünwald. The company was a direct competitor to UFA, which had begun operations in Berlin in 1917, and quickly absorbed several other film industry companies in the region. In 1930 investor Wilhelm Kraus and a consortium of banks bought a major shareholding in the company, and on 21 September 1932 the group took control and renamed it Bavaria Film AG. In 1938 the Bavaria Film was nationalised by the Nazi regime as a production unit subsidiary of UFA. After a period of dormancy following World War II, it was re-established as a private company in 1956.[3][4]

Bavaria Film GmbH

Bavaria Film GmbH is a film production company known for television films such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) and Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot (1981), both also shown theatrically. Also producing the Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus specials for German and Austrian television in Geiselgasteig in 1971 and 1972.[5]

Bavaria Studios

Main article: Bavaria Studios

The company owns the Bavaria Studios in Munich, Germany, where many of its films have been produced, and utilised by a number of notable directors and films.[6][4]

Other German production companies have also produced films in the studios, including Constantin Film with The Neverending Story, Downfall and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.[7]

Bavaria Filmstadt

The Filmstadt is an attraction for tourists that offers visitors a studio tour to see sets and props from The Neverending Story, Das Boot, Marienhof and other productions.[8][9]


  1. ^ Bavaria Film: Company Profile Archived 2016-12-05 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2013-04-11
  2. ^ Bavaria Film: Bavaria Film and its Subsidiaries Archived 2016-12-05 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2013-04-11
  3. ^ Meza, Ed (31 January 2019). "German Giant Bavaria Looks Ahead to Changing Media Landscape". Variety.
  4. ^ a b Meza, Ed (31 January 2019). "Bavaria: Studios With a Rich Cinematic Heritage". Variety.
  5. ^ Python, Monty. "Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus (1972)". Monty Python - Official Site.
  6. ^ "Bavaria Film – History for more than 90 years". Archived from the original on 2016-12-06. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  7. ^ "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Production Notes" (Press release). Pathé Distribution. Archived from the original (RTF) on October 12, 2009. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  8. ^ "Home - Bavaria Filmstadt - 4D cinema and much more". www.filmstadt.de. Bavaria Filmstadt.
  9. ^ "Bavaria studios". muenchen.de. Official Website of the City of Munich.