Germany to Launch Subsidy Program Aimed at Visual Effects

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Germany is set to launch a new film subsidy program aimed at big-budget international co-productions and effects-heavy TV series in an effort to boost the country’s already muscular visual effects and animation sector.

Unlike existing federal-level film subsidy programs backed by the German Federal Film Board (FFA) and the country’s commissioner for culture and media, the new coin will come out of an unexpected public purse: the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, known mostly for developing and regulating Germany’s economic and energy policies.

The new program, set to launch in the fall (if approved by the German government), would specifically target big-budget international co-productions with a significant spend in Germany as well as high-profile TV series “of cinematic quality.” The funding program would favor productions that offer a particularly strong boost to employment and benefit the country’s “audiovisual infrastructure” as well as vfx-heavy projects and animated films that employ innovative technology.

The ministry did not specify the amount of money it would make available, but it is expected to announce details later in the year.

Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,“ “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” and “Hitman: Agent 47” all shot in Germany and benefited from the country’s film incentives. Germany-based shops such as Trixter, which worked on “Iron Man 3,” the “Captain America” films as well as “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” already have an international reputation for high-caliber vfx.

Economic Affairs Ministry state secretary Matthias Machnig said the funding would “strengthen the innovative power of the German film industry.” The measure would not only bolster the German film industry’s international reputation but also make it more competitive, he added.

The ministry is collaborating with the local film sector to develop the new funding program, and industry reps have applauded the effort.

Alexander Thies, CEO of the German Producers Alliance, praised the initiative for specifically targeting innovative animation and vfx technologies as well as high-end series, saying it showed that the ministry understood that its commitment was also “an investment in the future of Germany’s film industry.”



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  1. Just as other countries are finally putting an end to this mess. I don’t understand…this has never worked for any country?

  2. guff says:

    First they don’t pay artists…second they don’t even speak English..!! and third..they are full of ego!

  3. Michael Esser says:

    There is another side of that coin which is that the federal subsidy which made the productions mentioned in the article possible might see a heavy cut this year. And speaking more in general I see this initiative as a quite desperate attempt to cope with the shameful inability of Germany’s media industry to come up with content which attracts international investors.

  4. mike says:

    well, this industry instead ofcreating jobs simply shifts them from place to place. Quebec apparently is to scrap tax incentives yet Germany wants to run them? To me this stinks…

  5. matteobject says:

    How stupid do you have to be to look at visual effects, an industry that’s renowned not only for barely breaking even, but in most cases generally loses money and think to yourself “Yeah, I want a piece of that action” ?

    • SeanCC says:

      Not to mention, Germany has done this before and I don’t believe it worked out terribly well for them. States/Countries generally make pennies on the dollar with these programs. Plus, while it may effect local employment some, if this program were to pick up steam they will need to, just like the UK, Canada and Asia, fill seats and lead positions with non-native talent.

      • ERD says:

        Goes home…. for now.

      • MG says:

        Sorry SeanCC, while I agree with you that this may not be such a good idea, I think there is enough “native” talent and experienced individuals to fill all the seats. It’s just that at the moment the very best of them are working in Canada, Asia and London!

      • Vagabond says:

        Nope, the current non native talent overseas just goes home.

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