The creation of the European Film Academy was the initiative of a group of filmmakers brought together on the occasion of the first European Film Awards ceremony held in November 1988.
EFA was finally founded in 1989 under the name of European Cinema Society by its first president Ingmar Bergman and 40 filmmakers to advance the interests of the European film industry. Wim Wenders was elected as first chairman of the association which two years later was renamed the European Film Academy. In 1996 he followed Ingmar Bergman as president of the EFA while British producer Nik Powell was elected as the new chairman. Since the beginning Berlin has been the seat of the EFA where it is registered as a non-profit making association.