Kickbacks look to boost countries' recent success

The popularity of Germany’s annual E60 million ($88 million) Federal Film Fund (DFFF) has spread to neighboring Austria, where the film industry is clamoring for a similar incentive to call its own.

The recent successes of Austrian films and high-profile foreign pics that shot there, most recently Dominic Sena’s “Season of the Witch” — plus strong competition from Eastern Europe — have helped rally support for a local incentive, which has won the backing of the Austrian government.

The volume of the fund has yet to be determined, but film board officials reckon it could be at least E10 million ($14.8 million) a year.

Bonus: The recently modernized Filmstadt Wien Studios in Vienna boasts six soundstages of various sizes.

Key contacts: In Germany, Studio Babelsberg topper Charlie Woebcken has served as co-producer on such recent pics as “Valkyrie” and “Inglourious Basterds” as well as Roman Polanski’s upcoming “The Ghost.” With Babelsberg, Woebcken offers a leading European co-production shingle with easy access to regional and federal subsidy coin in Germany. Overseeing a one-stop-shop facility that also boasts soundstages, backlots, production services, set construction, production design and more, Woebcken can make production in Germany not only simple but also financially advantageous.

In Austria, Arie Bohrer, head of Location Austria, offers a wide range of services for international producers, from assistance in finding Austrian partners and production funding to location scouting and liaison services with federal and local governments and film industry institutions. He also offers on-call support during the entire production as well as useful info about production conditions in Austria, such as labor laws, tax regulations and financing opportunities.

German Federal Film Board: ffa.de

Location Austria: location-austria.at

Austrian Film Institute: filminstitut.at

FFF Bayern: fff-bayern.de

Filmstiftung NRW: filmstiftung.de

Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg: medienboard.de

Hessen-Invest Film: hessen-invest-film.de/en

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