Dr. Anna Luise Kiss

Project Leader „The cinematic face of cities“ (BMBF 2019-2022)

Anna Luise Kiss worked as an actress for several years (e.g., in the ARD series "Um Himmels Willen", 2001-2007) before she started studying Cultural Studies. Simultaneously, she did internships at, among others, the dramaturgy department of the Berlin State Opera and the television broadcaster ZDF. In 2010, Kiss completed her B.A. program with a thesis on visuality in Günter Grass's novel "Die Blechtrommel" and its film adaptation. For her thesis, she was awarded the Young Talent Grant from Fern University Hagen. Subsequently, she studied Media Studies at HFF Konrad Wolf and received the Brandenburg State Graduate Award for her M.A. thesis on the post worldwar circulation of specific footage of The German Weekly Review. From 2012 to 2018 she has been working as a research and teaching assistant at the Film University Konrad Wolf. In 2015 she was invited as a guest researcher to the Max Kade Institute of the University of Southern California (USC). In 2018 she completed her Dissertation on non-actors in feature films (Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Michael Wedel and Prof. Dr. Jens Eder). From 2016 to 2018 Kiss took over the post of Vice-president for research and transfer at the Film University Babelsberg. In the winter semester 2018/19, she worked as guest professor for film history at the Film University Babelsberg. Afterwards, she became head of the department for research, knowledge transfer and start-ups. 

In December 2019 Anna Luise Kiss started her research project "The cinematic face of the cities". The project is sponsored for three years by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the scheme “Small disciplines – high potential”. In her project Kiss analyses the image building process of so-called "Film Cities" as a discursive process and lays a focus on the spacial aspects of the image building process.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Amateur acting
  • Background acting
  • History of film and television acting
  • Film and television history (with a particular focus on DEFA)



  • Eine Medienwissenschaftlerin und eine Schauspielerin unterhalten sich über Performanz in ihrem beruflichen Alltag. Eine Text-Pervormance, in: Thomas Etzemüller (Ed.): Der Auftritt. Performanz in der Wissenschaft, Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2019, p. 361–370. https://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-4659-7/der-auftritt/
  • Topografie des Laiendarsteller-Diskurses. zur Konstruktion von Laiendarstellerinnen und Laiendarstellern im Kinospielfilm, Dissertation, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2019. https://www.springer.com/de/book/9783658257569
  • Book review Kyle Frackman, Faye Stewart (Ed.): Gender and Sexuality in East German Film. Intimacy and Alienation. Rochester (New York): Camden House 2018, in: Filmblatt 69, 24. Jg., 2019, p. 118–120.


  • Book review Rainer Rother, Rolf Aurich (Ed.): Hans Traub Wörterbuch des Films. Berlin: Neofelis Verlag 2017, in: Filmblatt 66, 23. Jg., 2018, p. 132–134.


  • Waltraut Pathenheimer: Capturing the Essence. The Fiancée (gemeinsam mit Dieter Chill), Amherst: DEFA Film Library, 2017, DVD.
  • Book review Jennifer L. Creech: Mothers, Comrades, and Outcasts in East German Women's Films. Bloomington: Indiana University Press 2016, in: Filmblatt 63, 22. Jg., 2017, p. 125–128.
  • Conference report IAMHIST Challenge Event − Extras, bit-players, and historical consultants in media history. http://iamhist.net/2017/08/iamhist-challenge-event/


  • Editor (with co-editor Dieter Chill) of Pathenheimer: Filmfotografin. DEFA Movie Stills, Ch. Links Verlag
  • therein: Foto: DEFA-Pathenheimer, pp. 8-11
  • Die Spur der Bilder, pp. 174-181
  • „… ich will das Leben! Ich bin Dokumentarist!“ Ethische Fragen dokumentarischer Praxis im DEFA-Spielfilm MOTIVSUCHE, in: Dokumentarische Ethik/Parker Tyler, Montage AV



  • Editor of Jede Menge Perspektiven. Der Regisseur Herrmann Zschoche. Filmblatt-Schriften (volume 8), CineGraph Babelsberg
  • therein: Jede Menge Perspektiven. Der Regisseur Herrmann Zschoche (introduction to Zschoche's works), pp. 11-26
  • Herrmann Zschoches Inszenierung von Kinder- und Laiendarstellern, pp. 91-103

Selected Speeches


  • Filmwissenschaft in Potsdam (Film Studies in Potsdam), Talk in the lecture series "HIS WIS – Historische Seiten der Wissenschaft“ (Historical perspectives on Science) at the Volkshochschule Potsdam (adult education centre)
  • ‘Kaffe Kino’: An infrastructure of engagement with the Defa film heritage – a place of resistance against the power structures of film heritage marketing? Paper presented at the IAMHIST Conference „Power and the Media", Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Reconstructing the "Eisenstein Cabinet" in VR, Paper presented at the NECS 2019 Conference „Structures and Voices. Storytelling in Post-Digital Times“, Gdańsk


  • Chair of the panel "Filmgeschichte als Filmherstory − Strategien der Sichtbarmachung weiblichen* Filmschaffens“ at the Symposium "Raus aus dem Malestream − Feministische Perspektiven im dokumentarischen Filmemachen“, Film University Babelsberg
  • Chair of the panel "Music and Style in Transnational Television Drama“ at the Conference "Transnational Television Drama - Tastes, Travels and Trends", Aarhus University


  • From bed sheets to the dots torture room. Developing questions on the body mask in film history, contribution to the annual meeting of the IAMHIST / Pantheon-Assas University, Paris (France)
  • Tracking fictional violence, contribution to the annual meeting of the NECS / Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris (France)


  • MOTIVSUCHE: Fiktionalisierte Kritik dokumentaren Filmschaffens, contribution to the "Kritik" annual meeting of the GfM / Freie Universität Berlin
  • Rethinking Sergei Eisenstein's typage theory, contribution to the conference "A Hundred Years of Film Theory. Münsterberg and beyond: Concepts, Applications, Perspectives" / Universität Leipzig
  • Die Filmfotografin Waltraut Pathenheimer and Emotionsdarstellung im Kinofilm, speech held at Potsdamer Tag der Wissenschaften
  • Non-professional acting in reality TV as "over-the-norm-acting", symposium "Acting on Television. Analytical Methods and Approaches" / University of Reading (GB)
  • Verwendungsgeschichte(n) der letzten Filmaufnahmen von Adolf Hitler, contribution to the DFG workshop "Verwendungsgeschichte" / Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF


  • Tarzan the Ape Man Meets the Earth Trembles: Discourses on Non-actors in Classic Hollywood and Neo-realist Cinema / Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies of the University of Southern California (USC)


  • Béla Balázs’ Laiendarsteller Theorie, contribution to the scholarship holders meeting "Béla Balázs – Dichtung und Film" / HFF Konrad Wolf
  • Reflections on Non-Actor’s Creativity in La terra trema and Nicht versöhnt, contribution to the NECS Conference / Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan
  • Shaping Collective Visual Memory by Rewriting Propaganda: The Repetitive Use of the Last Film Shots of Adolf Hitler in Documentary Films, contribution to the Politics of Memory Conference / Cardiff University (Wales)

Academic Self-governance

  • Vice-president for research and transfer (2016-2018)

  • Representative of the non-professorial teaching staff in the university senate (2013-2016)

  • Representative of the non-professorial teaching staff in the university library committee (2012-2018)


  • German Society for Media Studies (GfM)
  • European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS)
  • The International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST)
  • Association of Supporters of the International Student Film Festival SEHSÜCHTE
  • Children's Film University Association

Awards and Scholarships


  • Winner of the "IAMHIST Challenge for Early Career Researchers and Professionals" prize for the workshop concept on "Extras, bit-Players, and Historical Consultants in Media History"
  • Exhibition funding for "Pathenheimer: Filmfotografin. DEFA Movie Stills" by, among others, the Marketing Office, the Culture Office, and the Office for Equal Opportunity of the City of Potsdam
  • Financial support for the printing of "Pathenheimer: Filmfotografin. DEFA Movie Stills" from, among others, the Gerda Weiler Association and the Brandenburg Center for Media Studies


  • Brandenburg State Teaching Award in the category "Integration of different professional and educational backgrounds" for the seminar "Hands-on Herrmann Zschoche"
  • DAAD Research Scholarship as visiting scholar at the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies of the University of Southern California (USC), USA


  • Financial support for the printing of "Jede Menge Perspektiven. Der Regisseur Herrmann Zschoche" from VG Bild-Kunst
  • Support for the scholarship holders meeting "Béla Balázs – Dichtung und Film" from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation as part of the program "Stipendiaten machen Programm" 


  • Brandenburg State Graduate Award (for outstanding M.A. thesis)
  • DAAD Conference Travel Grant
  • Admission to the (academic) PhD scholarship program of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (until 2016)


  • Young Talent Grant (for outstanding B.A. thesis) from the Association of Supporters of FernUniversität Hagen

Activities as an Actress and Voice Actress

  • Leading roles in episodes of TV series such as "Berlin Station" (Paramount Television), "Die Stadt und die Macht" (ARD), "Kommissar Rex" (Sat.1), "Die Cleveren" (RTL), "Der Bergdoktor" (ZDF), "In aller Freundschaft" (ARD), and Margarethe von Trotta's TV film trilogy "Jahrestage" (ARD) (since 1999)
  • Permanent role in the TV series "Um Himmels Willen" (ARD) (2001-2007)
  • Permanent role (27 episodes) in the telenovela "Schmetterlinge im Bauch" (Sat.1) (2006)
  • Voice-over artist (e.g., for the character of Dr. Vahlen in the computer game XCom), voice acting for readings and audio books, programs including works by Pessoa and Hoffmannsthal as well as "Friedrich Schiller - Dichter und Arzt" (since 2007)