International Film Impact Honoree: Bavaria Film Group
Bavaria Film Partners has a clear mission: To find partly packaged or financed projects that it can put into production.The division of Bavaria Film Group, established last year, has no interest in developing material itself. “Our main goal in the group is to acquire international co-productions, work with producers with attractive commercial product and to use Bavaria’s services and infrastructure,” say Markus Vogelbacher, who heads the division. “Bavaria Film Partners itself is a bit like an executive production company. We help with the financial engineering, with access to local talent, heads of departments and local services.” Bavaria Film Partners began as a program for specific projects in 2009. Headquartered in Bavaria Studios in Munich with offices in Los Angeles, Moscow and Berlin, the division draws on the parent company’s vast infrastructure as well as equity financing possibilities. Bavaria Film Partners is not involved in any creative aspects of filmmaking, however. “That’s the reason why we’re looking for developed projects, partly packaged, partly financed and open regarding the production and financing concept,” Vogelbacher says. Bavaria Film Partners partner network includes visual effects group Scanline VFX and post-production giant CinePostproduction, both of which are located on the Bavaria Studios lot. This setup allows Bavaria to offer outside productions straight service deals or package deals that includes “several services but one face for the customer,” Vogelbacher says. Bavaria Film Partners can offer international producers combined German or European financial resources in co-financing or co-production deals, Vogelbacher adds. A package deal could include shooting at Bavaria Studios with access to all necessary services, such as set construction, costumes, props, cameras, lighting equipment and trucks, as well as soft money from federal and regional sources, such as the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) and regional subsidies like FFF Bayern and its affiliated Bavarian Bank Fund. Sebastian Gassner, CinePostproduction’s Munich branch manager, says the arrangement pays off for everyone involved. “If there’s a project that’s interested, they bring the clients to visit Bavaria Studios and we show them around the post-production area and that’s how we work together,” Gassner says. “If we have a project or come across a producer who is interested in not only post production services but also studio and rentals, maybe for camera equipment, then we talk to Markus at Bavaria Film Partners.” Gabriela Bacher, co-CEO of Berlin-based Summerstorm Entertainment, who is partnering with Bavaria Film Partners on the historical drama “The Devil’s Violinist,” says the arrangement was extremely helpful for the production. Bavaria Film Partners also worked Laura Schroeder children’s adventure “Schatzritter,” which likewise used Scanline and CinePostproduction’s services.