×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Features eligible for Teutonic coin

Fund announcement comes with mixed news

BERLIN — While the German government is digging deep into its pockets to fund local film production to the tune of an extra $231 million over the next three years, the small print is still to be announced.

Culture Minister Bernd Naumann gave delegates good and bad news, speaking at the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg’s annual confab on Wednesday.

Under good: It’s real money — not a tax rebate, a writeoff or sale-and-leaseback scheme but cash that could finance up to 20% of a film’s budget. Foreign producers can apply so long as they have a local partner.

Under bad: TV movies are excluded; only theatrical features are eligible.

All other details are still under discussion, won’t be unveiled until sometime in September and are subject to EU approval.

Those taking part in the ensuing panel discussion generally gave the news a warm welcome.

Georgia Tornow, topper of producers org Film20, was “very grateful something is happening at last. It’s a chance for Germany to be competitive again with other countries.”

X-Filme topper Stefan Arndt, while also looking forward to becoming more international, cautioned that broadcasters would most likely cut their co-production contributions by the 20% they expect films to get from the government.

Studio Babelsberg head Cark Woebcken said he would “have preferred a legislative solution, something tax-related like in the U.K. and Hungary to create a medium- or long-term solution.”

Peter Dinges, head of government subsidy body the FFA, said with films eligible for up to a 50% subsidy (20% from the new scheme, 30% from other public sources), “There will be a need for quality criteria after the first 20%.” He forecast changes in the way the FFA works.

Hubertus Meyer-Burckhardt, CEO of Polyphon Film, reminded delegates that cinema is only one outlet and, by implication, of the scheme’s limitation.

Eberhard Junkersdorf, CEO of Neue Bioskop Film, asked: “What in this context is a theatrical film anyway? When does a film become one?”

Running this year from Aug. 30-Sept. 9, the Berlin Brandenburg Media Week sees more than 10,000 delegates converging on the German capital for a raft of seminars covering everything from future trends to mobile TV, radio and videogames. Event runs parallel to the Intl. Consumer Electronics Exhibition.

More Film

  • Best Films of 2018 Variety

    The Best Films of 2018

    Variety chief film critics — and cinema omnivores — Owen Gleiberman and Peter Debruge spend the year devouring everything from superhero movies to subtitled festival gems, which leaves a wealth of exceptional films to savor at year’s end. While “A Star Is Born” scored high with both critics, and “Eighth Grade” and “The Rider” each [...]

  • Peter Debruge Best Films of 2018

    Peter Debruge's 10 Best Films of 2018

    Every so often, Hollywood changes the world, but most of the time, the world changes Hollywood, which adjusts to reflect the innovation happening around it. A year after the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements forced the film industry to confront the sexism baked into the system, we are starting to see progress reflected onscreen and [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Sued for Home Video Profits by 'Young Doctors in Love' Writer

    Disney is facing a class-action lawsuit from the screenwriter of the 1982 hospital parody “Young Doctors in Love,” who alleges that the studio has withheld millions in home video revenue. Michael Elias filed the suit on Dec. 6 in Los Angeles Superior Court. His attorney, Neville Johnson, filed similar class-action lawsuits against six other studios [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    Richard E. Grant Makes the Most of His Screen Time

    Richard E. Grant is so memorable in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” that it’s a shock to realize he’s only in a fraction of the film. Fox Searchlight’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”centers on biographer Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) when she is broke and desperate, and begins forging celebrity letters. Israel has encounters with multiple [...]

  • Wonder Woman

    Movies Starring Women Outperform Male-Led Titles at Box Office, Study Finds

    Female-led movies outperformed male-led titles at the worldwide box office during the 2014-17 period, a study released Tuesday showed. Creative Artists Agency and technology company Shift7 said that the analysis found that female-led films outperformed male-led films at all budget levels. The study grew out of the Time’s Up movement in a collaboration aiming to [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film Review: 'Aquaman'

    Aquaman isn’t like the other DC Comics superheroes, so it seems only right that his big-screen solo show should have a personality all its own — which, in the hands of “Furious 7” director James Wan, it does. Gone is the Aryan-looking Atlantean in green-and-orange spandex, replaced with a bare-chested Hawaiian super-stud with long, shaggy [...]

  • Issa Rae

    Issa Rae, Columbia Sign Multi-Picture Production Deal Promoting Diverse Screenwriters (EXCLUSIVE)

    Issa Rae’s production company, ColorCreative, has signed a multi-picture production deal with Columbia Pictures. The pact is unique in that under the agreement, ColorCreative will work with and back projects from emerging, diverse screenwriters. The move comes as the entertainment industry is under pressure to develop films and shows that feature underrepresented talent both in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content