The film industry in Germany can be traced back to the late 19th century. German cinema made major technical and artistic contributions to early film, broadcasting and television technology. Babelsberg became a household synonym for the early 20th century film industry in Europe, similar to Hollywood later.
Germany witnessed major changes to its identity during the 20th and 21st century. Those changes determined the periodisation of national cinema into a succession of distinct eras and movements.
1895–1918 German Empire
The history of cinema in Germany can be traced back to the years shortly after the medium's birth. On 1 November 1895, Max Skladanowsky and his brother Emil demonstrated their self-invented film projector, the Bioscop, at the Wintergarten music hall in Berlin. A 15-minute series of eight short films were shown – the first screening of films to a paying audience. This performance pre-dated the first paying public display of the Lumière