To date, EFC has trained over 2000 young people in the art and craft of film. Many of our former students are well established in the film business and form a growing network of filmmakers all around the world.

EFC is the realisation of an idea and a dream conceived by artist Knud Pedersen, film director Henning Carlsen, and other Danish filmmakers, writers and thinkers. Their aim was to bring together young people from all over the world with a burning desire to make films. Together they would form a new generation of filmmakers, contributing to a vibrant film culture and a successful film industry - in Europe and throughout the world.

The first seven-strong board was elected at an inaugural assembly in 1989, with film director Morten Arnfred as its Chairman. In January 1990 the Board established an Honorary Committee to support the project, including leading European filmmakers such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Milos Forman and Andrzej Wajda. Shortly afterwards they appointed the first principal at the European Film College: Bjørn Erichsen.

In October 1990, Ebeltoft was chosen as the location of the college, and in 1991 a team of Finnish architects, Heikkinen and Komonen OY, won the competition to design the college buildings.

The college opened with a 4-month pilot programme in January 1993. It was officially inaugurated in May 1993, and the first full 1-year film foundation programme began in September 1993. This programme has been the backbone of our film school ever since – with constant development and innovation securing that the programme meets the standards of today, technically as well as creatively.

Early on, EFC furthermore established a series of 1-week long summer courses in Danish, which has been running with great succes ever since.

The students from EFC has formed a diverse network in the film and media world, and many of them return as teachers and guest speakers. Among our most renowned former students are Joachim Trier, Pilou Asbæk, Fabian Wagner, Charlotte Bruus Christensen, Nikolaj Arcel, Michael Noer, and Christina Rosendahl.

Former Principals of the college include Bjørn Erichsen (1990-1995), Kjeld Veirup (1995-2000), Jens Rykær (2000-2006), Pia Maria Marquard (2006-2007), Søren Høy (2007-2010), Mette Damgaard-Sørensen (2010-2014), Nadia Kløvedal Reich (2014-2018), and Ellen Riis (2018-2021). The current Principal is Nikolaj Davidsen, and the Board Chairman is Jørgen Ramskov.