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Germany reforms film law

Broadcasters to contribute to film funds

BERLIN — The German parliament has passed a reform of its Filmfoerderungsgesetz, or German Film Law, after the country’s constitutional court declared parts of the earlier measure unconstitutional.

Germany’s main film funder, the Federal Film Board (FFA), and leading exhibs have long been rowing over mandatory levies to finance the country’s film subsidy program. While cinema owners are legally forced to pay into the FFA pot, payments from broadcasters had until now been voluntary — something exhibs found unfair.

The dispute has threatened the FFA’s ability to grant much needed coin to producers and put a number of projects on hold. As a result, 86% of producers said they expect a decline in feature film production compared with 75% a year ago, while 11% said they would discontinue film production altogether.

The broadcasters’ contribution will now be calculated in a way similar to the method used for exhibitors — a fixed percentage of their revenue in proportion to the percentage of content in their programming, with no distinction made between domestic and foreign content.

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