In addition to the production company UFA (Universum Film AG), now considered synonymous with German cinema, there were numerous other small production companies that are largely forgotten today but deserve to be rediscovered. With Nero-Film, founded in 1926 by Seymour Nebenzahl, a company emerged that was expressly dedicated to films with artistic pretensions and political commitment. G.W. Pabst shot six films for Nero in this short period of time, Fritz Lang realised M and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse.
here, his last film in Germany, which could no longer be shown in German cinemas after the National Socialists came to power in 1933. Seymour Nebenzahl's father Heinrich financed the debut film of Robert Siodmak, Billy Wilder and other later film greats, People on Sunday, in 1929/30. One of the great classics of political and social-critical film of the Weimar period, Kuhle Wampe, was able to be completed thanks to the support of the Berlin branch of Lazar Wechsler's Swiss company Praesens-Film, after the original production company Prometheus had to file for bankruptcy.
Praesens-Film, based in Zurich, continues to exist and today also manages the rights to the Nero films. The Deutsche Kinemathek, in collaboration with it and partners such as the EYE Filminstituut Nederland, the British Film Institute, the Cinémathèque Suisse, the Bundesarchiv and the DFF (Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum), Frankfurt, has restored a whole series of these films in recent years and continues to work on this valuable catalogue, as is currently the case with the restoration of L'Atlantide.