Anton Kolm

Anton Kolm (12 October 1865 in Vienna as Gustav Anton Kolm – 11 October 1922, also in Vienna) was an Austrian photographer who became one of the first film directors and film producers in the history of Austrian cinema.

A skilled photographer, he started to make short films privately from as early as 1906, but these were not intended for cinemas. On the basis of his preparatory work he founded in 1910, together with his wife, Luise Kolm,[1] and Jacob Fleck, the Erste österreichische Kinofilms-Industrie, which at the end of the following year was renamed Wiener Kunstfilm-Industrie, and remained for a long time the leading film production company of Austro-Hungary. Kolm occupied himself principally with the finances and the direction of the business, and was only actively involved in a part of the firm's productions, while his wife, one of the earliest female film directors, was responsible for the creative work.

In 1919, with his wife and with financial support from the Depositenbank, he re-founded the Wiener Kunstfilm-Industrie as Vita-Film. Work immediately began on the construction of the Rosenhügel Film Studios, which were already in use before their completion in 1923. Vita-Film produced a number of films there, such as the epic Samson and Delilah (1922), but like many other European film-related businesses was forced into bankruptcy in 1924 by the flood of cheap American films, with which the European film industry was mostly unable to compete.

Anton Kolm however had disposed of his interest in the company in 1922, after disputes over financial matters. He died on 11 October 1922 and did not see the closure of Vita-Film. His wife Luise and his business partner Jacob Fleck moved to Berlin, where they married the following year.

Anton Kolm's son by Luise, Walter Kolm-Veltée, was also involved in the film industry, and among other things established a film academy at the University of Vienna.


Kolm also shot a great quantity of early newsreel footage now of great historical value.


  1. better known by her second married name, Luise Fleck
  2. there is much doubt as to whether this film really existed; if it did it would have been the first drama film in Austrian cinema history
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