Inspired by a successfully and passionately run model in Québec, the Prix collégial du cinéma québécois (PCCQ), Filmfest Hamburg and the European Film Academy launched in 2016 the European University Film Award (EUFA) - presented and voted by European university students. The aim of this initiative is to involve a younger audience, to spread the "European idea" and to transport the spirit of European cinema to an audience of university students. It shall also support film dissemination, film education and the culture of debating. In 2019 it became an official category of the European Film Awards.
„In times of growing nationalism in Europe and elsewhere we had the idea to look for a common element to foster a European understanding, to search for a common European identity defined by culture, especially by film.“
Since its First Edition in 2016 the number of participating countries grew constantly, starting from 13 universities from 13 different European countries in the first year and now seeing 24 universities from 24 countries in 2023: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom.
Based on the selection for the European Film Award 2023 five films from five European countries were nominated for the 8th European University Film Award and announced on October 6. These five films will be viewed and discussed in the respective university classes and each institution selects its favourite film. One student representative for each of the 24 universities will participate in a a three-day deliberation meeting in Hamburg in December 2023. During these three days the students discuss all films together, exchange arguments and vote for the winner. The winner will be announced on December 8 during this year's European Film Awards Weekend in Berlin. The 8th European University Film Award is made possible with the support of the Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Research and Culture, the Claussen-Simon Foundation and the Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S..