×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Germany Increases Film Funding by 55% to $161 Million

The German government on Wednesday approved a 55% increase in film funding to €150 million ($161 million), marking a major victory for the country’s film industry as well as for German culture and media commissioner Monika Grütters.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet authorized a €50 million ($53.7 million) boost in the country’s German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) for 2018 to €125 million ($134 million) as well as €3 million ($3.22 million) more for separate culture film funding for smaller projects to €25 million ($26.8 million).

The increase follows a recent hike in this year’s DFFF pot of €25 million ($26.8 million) for a separate funding pool within the DFFF aimed specifically at international co-productions and big-budget domestic films. Next year, this second funding pool, dubbed DFFF II, will grow to €75 million ($80.5 million).

Grütters has also said she would seek more funding for local VFX companies — a move that would likely increase the number of international projects coming to Germany, which boasts a large number of leading firms in the field.

Grütters has won loud praise from the local industry for her efforts, particularly in overcoming resistance from Germany’s hard-nosed finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who just two years ago had planned to gut government film funding altogether, according to German daily Die Welt. Yet as the newspaper reported, for every million that the DFFF grants, the finance ministry collects between €2 and €4 million in taxes — money it would not get if those productions went to Britain or the Czech Republic.

“We are obviously not alone in our vision, you share it, and that is a wonderful message,” Alexander Thies, chairman of the German Producers Alliance, said to Grütters following her announcement to increase the DFFF’s coffers this year.

The DFFF can provide international coproductions a rebate of up to 20% if they spend at least 25% of their budget in Germany, making it an essential instrument in luring major projects such as Gore Verbinski’s “A Cure for Wellness,” Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” and Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies.”

Yet despite the cheers from filmmakers, some high-profile TV producers appear to be feeling neglected.

In a recent interview with German daily Tagesspiegel, Nico Hofmann, co-CEO of leading TV production company UFA, said the company produces more than 50% of its major TV projects outside of Germany, primarily in the Czech Republic, due to a lack of funding for small-screen fare. UFA’s productions include such hits as “Deutschland 83” and the upcoming miniseries “Charité” and “The Same Sky.”

“UFA is spending about €10 million a year abroad instead of investing it in sustainable growth in Germany, in jobs and know-how,” Hofmann said. UFA is eager to produce more domestically, particularly in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg, but to do that, something has to change in the country’s film support system, he added.

More Film

  • Bob Iger arrives at the Oscars,

    Bob Iger: 'Challenging Work of Uniting Our Businesses' Lies Ahead for Disney

    Bob Iger marked the historic occasion of Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox with a lengthy memo to staffers that was candid about the challenges of the massive integration of people and cultures that lies ahead for the media giant. “I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us, that closing [...]

  • EMMA APPLETON as FEEF SYMONDS

    'Traitors' Producer 42 Hires Literary Manager Eugenie Furniss

    Eugenie Furniss is joining London- and Los Angeles-based management and production company 42 as literary manager, it was announced Wednesday. The company’s slate include movie “Ironbark,” a Cold War thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and TV series “Traitors,” a spy thriller coming to Netflix in the U.S. at the end of the month. Furniss joins 42 [...]

  • Brad Pitt Leonardo DiCaprio Once Upon

    Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Trailer Drops

    The first look at “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is finally here, and Quentin Tarantino is taking audiences back to the height of hippie Hollywood. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, the footage features a montage of Tinseltown in the late 1960s. The duo play Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, a washed-up actor and [...]

  • One-Cut-Of-The-Dead-Review

    Japanese Sleeper Hit ‘One Cut of the Dead’ Heads for English Remake (EXCLUSIVE)

    “One Cut of the Dead,” a micro-budget horror film that last year defied the odds to become one of the biggest hits of the year in Japan, is headed for an English-language remake. Patrick Cunningham, a Japan-based American producer whose credits include “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Starlet,” is behind the venture. The original film, [...]

  • Come as You Are review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Come as You Are'

    The rare remake that’s actually a slight improvement on its predecessor, Richard Wong’s “Come as You Are” translates Geoffrey Enthoven’s 2011 Belgian “Hasta la Vista” to middle America. Other changes are less substantial, but this seriocomedy has a less formulaic feel than the original while remaining a crowd-pleasing buddy pic-caper with a soft-pedaled minority empowerment [...]

  • Strange Negotiations review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Strange Negotiations'

    In a era when some mainstream entertainers have transitioned to targeting faith-based audiences, David Bazan is moving in the other direction. The gifted songwriter’s ersatz band Pedro the Lion was perhaps the most successful Christian indie rock act of its time, and the first to significantly cross over to secular fans. Then he ditched that persona (and [...]

  • Bluebird review

    SXSW Film Review: ‘Bluebird’

    As affectionate as a love letter but as substantial as an infomercial, Brian Loschiavo’s “Bluebird” may be of most interest to casual and/or newly converted country music fans who have occasionally wondered about the songwriters behind the songs. There’s a better than even-money chance that anyone who’s a loyal and longtime aficionado of the musical [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content