As an association founded in 1949 DIF is regularly funded by the German Federal Government, the State of Hesse, the cities of Frankfurt am Main and Wiesbaden, the German public broadcasting authorities, leading organisations of the German film industry and the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation. The DIF is registered as an approved non profit-making association.
Along with the Bundesarchiv/Filmarchiv (Federal Film Archiv) and the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek (Foundation of the German Cinémathèque), both in Berlin, the DIF is a full member of the German Federation of Cinémathèques, sharing with the above mentioned organisations the duties of a central German Cinémathèque. Since 1952, the institute has been a full member of the Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film (FIAF), and also participates in international projects.
In addition to the film archive DIF has built up a collection of 7.000 files filled with clippings and 36.000 microfilm jackets. The collection of film magazines starts in 1907 and runs until today with 120 issues. The international film magazine stock comprises 1.900 titles, 8.600 volumes including 3.350 German language magazines.