The history of the European Film College

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

The European Film College is the realisation of an idea and a dream conceived by Danish 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 who were burning to make films. Together they would form a new generation of filmmakers, contributing to a vibrant film culture and a successful film industry both 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 four-month pilot programme in January 1993. It was officially inaugurated in May 1993, and the first full eight-month foundation programme began in September 1993.

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), and Nadia Kløvedal Reich (2014-2018). The current principal is Ellen Riis, and the Chairman of the Board is Ole Christian Madsen.
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