The History of is a division of the DFF- Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum (the German Film Institute & Film Museum). The portal was initially set up in co-operation with CineGraph - Hamburgisches Centrum für Filmforschung e.V., and promoted by the members of the Deutsche Kinematheksverbund. marks the fulfilment of our long-existing idea of an openly accessible and free-of-charge internet platform for verified data and background information on German cinema. One of its forerunners was a CD-ROM titled "Die deutschen Filme" (The German Films), which contained the titles of all films included in the "Deutsche Filmografie" (Defi) (German filmography) in 2000.

It was always the aim of the portal to add documentaries, short films and the names of the individuals involved in filmmaking. In order to carry this out, combined the two most comprehensive databases on German film created by Deutsches Filminstitut and CineGraph - Hamburgisches Centrum für Filmforschung respectively.

DFF and CineGraph developed the concept for in 2001, and were subsequently able to win the support of the film industry, the public sector and academics. Thanks to the generous support of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Filmförderungsanstalt (The German Federal Film Board), the regional state of Hesse, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau foundation, the start-up phase of began in July 2003. This phase ended with the online launch on February 11th 2005. The expansion phase began in February 2005 and ended January 2007. While operating on a regular basis, will be up-dated constantly.