The Deutsche Filmakademie eV was founded in 2003 in Berlin. It aims to provide native filmmakers a forum for discussion and a way to promote the reputation of German cinema through publications, presentations, discussions and regular promotion of the subject in the schools. Since 2005, the winners of the Deutscher Filmpreis (colloquially known as the Lolas) are elected by the members of the Deutsche Filmakademie.
The Deutsche Filmakademie is an independent organization and is financed by membership dues of full members, honorary members, associate members and friends. Full members must be recommended by at least two filmmakers who have applied for full membership and have been accepted. All winners of the Deutscher Filmpreis automatically get a full membership. Honorary members are appointed for their contributions to the German films. Supporting members are companies and legal persons from the film industry. Friends are other filmmakers who want to support the work of the association.
The first Presidents of the Deutsche Filmakademie were Senta Berger and Günter Rohrbach. In 2010, Iris Berben and Bruno Ganz were elected as their successors. From 2019 Ullrich Matthes is the President..
In 2008, the academy's Internet service 24 – Das Wissensportal der Deutschen Filmakademie was launched. The portal provides an insight into the making of a movie, with the hope of making the work of independent filmmakers more transparent and accountable.
The Deutsche Filmakademie eV is not to be confused with the 1938's Deutsche Filmakademie, founded in Babelsberg.