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The German film industry, which was protected during the war by the ban on foreign films import, became exposed at the end of the war to the international film industry while having to face an embargo, this time on its own films.Many countries banned the import of German films and audiences themselves were resisting anything that was “German”.Audiences however did not care to swallow the patriotic medicine without the accompanying sugar of the light-entertainment films which, consequently, Ufa also promoted.The German film industry soon became the largest in Europe.Soon, trivial short films were being shown as fairground attractions aimed at the working class and lower-middle class.The booths in which these films were shown were known in Germany somewhat disparagingly as Kintopps.The public's desire to see more films with particular actors led to the development in Germany, as elsewhere, of the phenomenon of the film star; the actress Henny Porten was one of the earliest German stars.

This industry was attracting producers and directors from all over Europe.A 15-minute series of eight short films, it was the first screening of films to a paying audience in Europe.This performance pre-dated the first paying public display of the Lumière brothers' Cinematographe in Paris on December 28 of the same year, a performance that Max Skladanowsky attended and at which he was able to ascertain that the Cinematographe was technically superior to his Bioscop.Cinemas themselves began to be established landmarks in the years immediately before World War I.Before this, German filmmakers would tour with their works, travelling from fairground to fairground.