transmediale.07 is the 20th edition of the festival, which began as VideoFilmFest in 1988. The first programme booklet opens with the remark: “On the afternoon of 16 December 1987, we took the decision to found the Video-FilmFest ‘88.” Only 54 days later, the first festival opened which was initially dedicated to 'video culture’ (mainly understood in opposition to film) and soon entered into a critical dialogue with televison, before dealing with ‘multimedia’ and ‘media art’ in the 1990s and developing into the current ‘festival for art and digital culture’ that has been running under the name transmediale since 1998.
The festival was first a project by the independent MedienOperative (later renamed Mediopolis), which closely cooperated with the internationalen forum of the Berlinale Film Festival in presenting its programmes of experimental and documentary videos. Until 1992, these events took place in the spaces of MedienOperative and at the Akademie der Künste in East Berlin, then moving to Podewil from 1993 to 2001, which has also housed the office of transmediale since 1997, the year when the organisation of the festival was taken over by Berliner Kulturveranstaltungs-GmbH (renamed Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH in 2006). From 2002 to 2005 transmediale took place at the House of World Cultures, and since 2006 it has been held at Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg. In the first years, the festival was rather erratically supported by the Berlin regional government, which began to secure its existence only from the mid-90s onwards through the Culture Administration, the Lottery Fund, and the Capital City Culture Fund.
Since 2005, transmediale has been receiving substantial funding from the German Federal Cultural Foundation. The festival was initially directed jointly by Hartmut Horst (until 1994) and Micky Kwella (until 2000). From 2001 till 2007, Andreas Broeckmann has been the artistic director of transmediale.