The history of St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television goes back more than 90 years. During this time, it developed a strong tradition, which became the basis for many creative discoveries of the Soviet and Russian cinema.

St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television is the oldest Russian institution in the fields of photography, cinematography and television.

It was established ten years later after film production started in Russia, in 1918 as the first institution in Russia to offer higher education in the field of photography.

Its first name was the Institute of Photographic Science and Engineering. From the very beginning the Institute provided training in two degree programmes covering scientific and art photography.

In 1920 it was a gap in technology - the technology of production of photo paper and bromine - zhelatin negative photographic plates were developed, the first Soviet cameras and projectors were constructed and  X-ray film began to release.

In 30es the rapid development of sound film required a highly qualified specialists. Institute became the Institute of Motion Picture Engineers in 1930. It consisted of two departments - electrical engineering (called the faculty of engineers  of sound film), and mechanical.

In 1935 the production of photographic film (celluloid)  began, which required the preparation of professionals to develop, manufacture and processing of film. That’s why Chemical Engineering Department was opened.

During World War II, many teachers and students were soldiers. Equipment and laboratories, teachers and students were evacuated to the city of Pyatigorsk. In October 1942, despite the enormous difficulties Institute reopened. In the three departments then there were about 100 people. In August 1943, it was the first graduation of Military time: 22 students  got the diplomas of engineers.

After the World War II was finished , in 1946  the number of students was more than 1,000 people. In 1947 at the Institute of Motion Picture Engineers foreign students began to learn.

During the «peresroyka» (restructuring in 90es) the  role of the economy increased in the life of our society, so in 1991 the Institute opened the Faculty of Economics, where he began to train economics and management

In 1992 the Faculty of Screen Arts was established where they train future directors, cameramen, sound engineers, film and television writers, directors, computer graphics and animation, future television journalists.

The year of 2002 was marked of the opening of another faculty - the Faculty of Mass Communication, provided training in public relations and state and municipal management.

Now the University  has developed into a multidisciplinary institution offering degree programmes in the fields of audiovisual engineering, economics and screen arts. It was granted official state university status in 1998.