German producers talk unification

TV, film production to be joint endeavor

Germany’s various associations of producers for TV and movies will meet in the coming week for the final phase of establishing a joint organization.

Talks to this end have been held throughout the year between four orgs, Verband Deutscher Spielfilmproduzenten, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Neuer Deutscher Spielfilmproduzenten (theatrical films), Bundesverband Deutscher Fernsehproduzenten (TV), and Film 20, which represents shingles working in both fields.

One main point is to bundle interests of production for TV and for cinema into one pool, as the borderline between the two areas has long been blurry. In Germany, TV stations, mainly the pubcasters, have been involved as co-financers of bigscreen films in the majority of productions since the 1970s.

These days, “production shingles that want to keep their head above water try to address both cinema and TV,” says Georgia Tornow of Film20. She adds that Film20 is the spearhead of the idea of a merger, “as we said right from the beginning we didn’t want a separation between cinema and TV producers.”

Since 2000, a new wave of TV event movies has fueled cross-border production. Many TV event projects are marketed abroad in a theatrical edit, and most recently new history pics such as “The Downfall,” “Pope Joan,” and “Anonyma” have been projected in two separate versions from the outset.

A new unified association may emerge by the end of the year.

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