The DFFB was founded in 1966 as the first film school in West Germany. Thirty students, selected from over 800 applicants, started the initial class of the Academy. The DFFB offers a professional education for artistic jobs in film and television. The school is financed by the federal state of Berlin and is independent of commercial interests and influence.
The academy is based in the middle of Berlin, at the Potsdamer Platz, where the filmfestival Berlinale takes place every year and is run by director Jan Schütte since September 2010.
The DFFB has about 150 students altogether and over 250 student productions are completed every year. The DFFB mostly works with freelance lecturers, professionals who work in the film and television business most of their time. The DFFB cooperates with the Berlin/Brandenburg TV station RBB and ARTE and produces 3 short films of 30minutes lengths for RBB and 10 short films of 5 minutes lengths for ARTE.
There are three courses of studies: directing, cinematography and producing. There are two years of basic studies where all students complete a set, obligatory program that is directed towards the production of the First Year Film and Second Year Film at the end of each year.
The Main Studies are for specialization. Students design their own program after their interests. The production of the so called “Individual Film” is obligatory in the third year. One must collect 10 seminar credits to absolve the Main Studies. The education ends with the production of the Thesis Film and a complimentary theoretical work.
In 1997, the Screenwriting Academy was established as an independent (fourth) line of study at the DFFB. In a three-year course of study, ten writings students are yearly accepted to the education of screenwriting for cinema and television. The aim is to educate independent, freethinking, creative scriptwriting talent.
A brand new, state-of-the-art sound studio began operating in 2008. In 2009/2010 the DFFB built the entire production and post-production to digital technology, including the installation of a digital 2K cinema, with an expected completion date of autumn 2011.
The DFFB is a full member of CILECT and GEECT.