Move sweetens pot for producers

BERLIN — The German government may have derailed the Teuton tax fund gravy train, but it has made good on its promise to replace those monies.

A number of German financiers are developing nontax-related investment funds, and some funds are still operating and reinvesting residual coin, even though many debate the legality of those schemes.

But the big news is that the German government has created a replacement plan for the old film funds.

The idea is to support local productions and make Germany more attractive to foreign producers.

In addition to the already existing system of local production incentives and subsidy coin available to Teuton producers, the German government has set aside an annual pot of $81 million solely to support production costs for the next three years.

Producers will be able to claim back 16%-20% of their German spend with a ceiling of $5.4 million per pic.

However, in certain cases, exceptions can be made and producers can claim up to $13.5 million, but only if 35% of the budget is spent in Germany.

To qualify, at least 25% of a pic’s budget needs to be spent in Germany. If the overall budget exceeds $27 million, the local spend requirement is lowered to 20%.

Pics also will need to pass a “cultural test.” International co-productions can only claim the new production benefit if there are Germans actively and creatively involved. Mere financial involvement from the German side is not enough.

The scheme kicked in on Jan. 2. Coin is distributed on a first come/first served basis, which means that if the fund runs out of money, applicants will have to wait until the next year.

So far, 17 pics have been awarded money, all of them German, such as “Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps”; German-Danish co-production “Flame & Citron,” starring Mads Mikkelsen, also is tapping coin. This means that only $9.3 million out of the $81 million is gone — the scraping of the barrel is yet to start.

Resources

  • Federal Film Board (FFA)
    Contact: Christine Berg
    Tel.: +49 30 27 57 75 25
    Web: ffa.de

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