Germany, Spain talk up teamwork

San Sebastian panel to explore co-production

SAN SEBASTIAN — Teutonic film orgs are rolling into San Sebastian on Saturday to talk up the jewel in their film financing crown, the Euros60 million ($85.1 million) German Federal Film Board (DFFF) fund.

Launched January 2007, the DFFF fund made headlines only this week when officials announced that Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Bastards” and Roman Polanski’s “Ghost” would both receive DFFF coin.

Yet the Spanish film industry has made little use of the fund, or of German co-productions in general. Hence the DFFF tub-thump, framed as a Germany-Spain co-pro meet and roundtable.

“There are significant financial tools in Germany, and Spain will soon have new tax provisions. It’s a good moment to analyze co-production opportunities,” said Avalon’s Stefan Schmitz, German Films’ delegate in Spain.

The German Federal Film Fund offers grants tabbed at 20% of a co-production’s spend in Germany. Co-productions have to pass German cultural tests. But these are fairly undemanding.

“The DFFF Fund is a very flexible production finance grant that allows producers to calculate benefits, and is very open to German co-productions with outside countries,” said Andreas Pense, at UnverzagtvonHave.

Organized by German Films and the Film Board, the DFFF presentation is followed by a panel: “Germany and Spain: the Future of Co-production?”

Panelists include Peter Sehr at Teuton Shingle Partisan Films, who produced and co-directed Civil War drama “The Anarchist’s Wife,” Helmut Weber at Tradewind Pics, producer of “Das Orangenmadchen,” a Norwegian-Spanish-German co-production, and Fabia Buenaventura, director general of Spanish producers association Fapae.

Also speaking are Jordi Rediu, at Barcelona’s ZIP Films, which co-produced “Wife,” and Mariela Besiuevsky at Tornasol Films, longtime Spanish co-producer of Ken Loach’s films.

One challenge to Spain-Germany co-production are current co-pro equity ceilings, Rediu said. “These have to be more flexible,” he said.

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