WHY: With the $80 million-a-year German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) and nearly $300 million in film development and production support from a plethora of national and regional film subsidy boards, Teutonic film officials will do everything to offer producers a financing deal. The DFFF has so far this year dished out nearly $70 million on 80 domestic films and international co-productions, including Stephen Frears’ romantic period drama “Cheri,” starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” already has picked up subsidy coin. Pic is shooting at Studio Babelsberg, which also is co-producing, as well as in Berlin, the state of Saxony and Paris.
Make sure you have a reliable local co-production partner. Without one, German subsidies remain inaccessible to foreign producers, unless you’ve opened up your own local office. Most German producers are happy to oblige. Studio Babelsberg has made co-productions a key part of its business strategy.
BONUS: Germany offers first-class studio facilities and highly trained crews, but also boasts beautiful landscapes; the rising greenback is also making shoots in Europe more affordable.
SHOT THERE: “Inglourious Basterds,” “Cheri,” “Antichrist,” “Valkyrie”
HOT SPOT: “Cheri” was shot in and co-produced by Cologne-based studio MMC Independent, one of Europe’s largest and most modern studios. MMC has undergone a complete restructuring in the past year and is gearing itself more toward international productions in the hopes of luring high-profile producers from Berlin. “The Reader” also shot at MMC and the surrounding state of North Rhine-Westphalia in addition to Berlin and the state of Saxony.
German Federal Film Board (FFA): ffa.de
German Federal Film Fund (DFFF): ffa.de/content_dfff/dfff_leitfaden.phtml?language=en
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg: medienboard.de
Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen: filmstiftung.de
FFF Bayern: fff-bayern.de
MDM Film Commission: mdm-online.de