Germany: Elections may impact gov’t funding for film


German Federal Filmboard (FFA)

With a budget of S86 million ($106 million) a year, the German Federal Filmboard (FFA) is the country’s single biggest film subsidy org.

There are two types of funding: selective project funding and, for producers who have already produced a successful German film or a German-international co-production, automatic reference funding.

A German-based producer can normally receive a conditionally repayable, interest-free loan of up to $310,000 — in special cases up to $1.2 million.

Reference funding is based on the commercial and artistic success of past projects, and can reach up to $2.5 million for follow-up projects. Recent productions include “Dragnet,” “Mongol — The Early Years of Genghis Khan.”


Filmstiftung North Rhine-Westphalia

The Filmstiftung NRW has a current annual budget of $45 million. Last year it put up $25 million for film projects. Org has no ceiling on production grants but it is limited to 50% of a film’s overall budget, and in certain cases up to 70%. Recipients must spend at least 150% of subsidy money in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as part of the fund’s regional effect (i.e., for every S1 received, S1.50 must be spent in the state). Recent productions include “Blaze” and “You the Living.”


Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg

In 2004, the Medienboard had a budget of $30 million and granted $20 million in film production subsidies. The org has no production subsidy limit but financial support averages between $250,000 and $620,000 per project. High-profile projects and especially films in which Berlin plays a major role are likely to get significantly more. Subsidy grants must be spent in the Berlin-Brandenburg region. Recent productions include “The Three Detectives” and “V for Vendetta.”


FilmFernsehFonds Bayern

Bavaria’s film and TV subsidy office has a $35 million annual budget and last year put up $17 million for film projects. Similar to the Filmstiftung NRW, at least 150% of the production support must be spent in Bavaria.

Feature film productions are normally eligible for up to $2 million, although the FFF can secure additional funding via the Bavarian Bank Fund for projects that promise particular economic success. Producers applying to the FFF must be based in Germany. Foreign producers can only access FFF cash by submitting an application through a local partner. Recent productions include “Perfume” and “The Story of the Weeping Camel.”


New Government Revolving Fund

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has greenlit a $110 million government fund to support the local film industry over the next three years. But its implementation remains in question in view of upcoming federal elections this month.

Venture is meant to offset government plans to shut down private tax-sheltering investment funds as part of a tax reform bill.

New fund would provide some $37 million a year over the next three years with the aim of turning it into a revolving fund that will continue to offer financial support beyond its initial three-year span.

It would offer conditionally repayable loans of up to 20% of the budget for German films or co-productions. Five times the amount of the loan must be spent in Germany.


Studio Babelsberg

The legendary studio located just outside Berlin has over the past few years successfully positioned itself as a full-service provider for film and TV.

The studio also works closely with the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg to help secure subsidies for films shooting on the back lot. Recent productions include “V for Vendetta,” “Aeon Flux,” “The Bourne Supremacy” and “Beyond the Sea.”

Bavaria Studios

Part of pubcaster ARD’s Bavaria Film Group, Bavaria Studios offers a wide range of services, including 19 soundstages at two locations in Munich, and an additional five soundstages in Berlin, plus post facilities. Recent productions include “Downfall” and “Perfume.”

Magic Media Co.

Owned in part by ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL Television, and located near Cologne, MMC boasts one of Europe’s largest studio facilities. Company has actively served as a co-production partner on domestic and international productions and offers a full range of services.


German Federal Film Board,

German Films

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