In April 2020 Sehsüchte celebrates its 49th edition and therefore has a history rich in tradition. The history of Europe’s largest student film festival can be traced back to 1972. In that time the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen (HFF) led a kind of scientific skill performance under the name FDJ-Studentenfilmtage. It had little to do with the film festival as we know it today.
Initially the FDJ-Studentenfilmtage only showed the films from its own university. However, five years after its formation, in the year 1977, the show also screened University films from “friendly” foreign countries. Herein the starting shot had fallen. In the mid 1980´s the FDJ-Studentenfilmtage grew up to be one of the largest student film festivals in the East Block and even films from the former West Germany were screened.
However, although the FDJ-Studentenfilmtage had become an insider tip for film lovers from all around the world, the festival stumbled slightly after the fall of the Berlin wall. Only twice the FDJ-Studentenfilmtage could have its individual event before it was integrated into the Neue Potsdamer Filmfest. This change was unsatisfactory for the students of the audiovisual media sciences at the HFF Potsdam, however, so that they breathed new air into the renowned film festival under the name Sehsüchte.
Independently the students slowly rebuilt the film festival and in 2002 the Sehsüchte flame was added as its unmistakeable logo. In 2005 the organization of Sehsüchte became an inherent part of the master studies of media sciences and thus was institutionalized. This meant that the continuation of the festival was safe and had professional structure making Sehsüchte grow into Europe’s largest student film festival as we know it today.