In 1982 the two Frankfurt based cinema operators Karl Baumgartner and Reinhard Brundig established Pandora Film Distribution. The name was inspired by G.W Pabst's film "Pandora's Box". With the first films that came out under this label, the thematic focus was clear: Films such as YOL by Yilmaz Günay, NOSTALGHIA by Andrej Tarkovsky or FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE by Chen Kaige all stood for highly ambitious International Art house Cinema. Before long, close working relationships were formed between Pandora and directors such as Aki Kaurismäki and Jim Jarmusch. But it was with Jane Campion's THE PIANO, that Pandora made its first big commercial breakthrough. The concept of presenting excellent cinematographic masterpieces by internationally renowned filmmakers to a German audience paid off, and Pandora Film became one of the most distinguished Distributors within this segment of the market.
Alongside the distribution, Pandora Film soon undertook an increasing amount of the actual production work. Gradually many projects were acquired early in the development phase. Soon co-productions began to emerge out of what had originally been a licence and distribution company. With Emir Kusturica's film UNDERGROUND, the transition to production was fulfilled.
In 1996 the production company was moved to Cologne. In 1998 the distribution department in Frankfurt was closed and the extensive library of distribution rights were sold to KINOWELT. The change in market conditions, especially the changed purchase policy of the television stations, and the massive structural changes that came about through the so called "New Market", were just two of many factors involved in this decision.
During the following time, Pandora Film's emphasis has been laying solely on producing and Co-producing films for the Cinema. The company has maintained it's thematic emphasis and all the films have had a theatrical release. In addition, every project could be realised as a Co-Production. The international alignment of the projects is reflected in each and every film. Up to six films are realised per year. In 2002, the Film Funding Institution honoured the company with title "Branchentiger"[“Tiger in the field”]. The same year the Distribution Company went back into business with the Co-production "THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST" by Aki Kaurismäki.
Today Pandora Film presents itself as an Independent Production-, Marketing- and Distribution Company with the ambition of continuing to grow by means of quality rather than mass production. In the interest of all cinema enthusiasts, we constantly strive to work against the general media conformity, in order to secure the existence of film also as an art form. With the help of about 12 highly motivated colleagues, this challenging battle continues.