The DEFA was the central organ of GDR filmmaking and produced over 700 feature films.
Although the DEFA was dissolved as a single company with the formation of the State Committee for Film in 1952, its name still stands for East German filmmaking today. Departments, operations and facilities of DEFA were transformed into independent studios, operating under the DEFA label and converted into public property.
Their political orientation was reflected above all in the work of well-known directors such as Konrad Wolf, Heiner Carow and Iris Gusner. DEFA's film work gave rise to its own genres such as contemporary film ("Gegenwartsfilm"), native american film ("Indianerfilm") and rubble film ("Trümmerfilm"), which also stood as an antithesis to Western-American movie genres like the Western.
Today, the DEFA Foundation administers the cinema films of the GDR and promotes German cinematic art.