Minister of State
for Culture and the Media
|(Photo: Bundesregierung/ Kugler)|
Between January 2007 and the end of 2011 the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), established by the German Government, has supported over 520 film productions with grants totalling approximately 296 million Euros. This funding measure has become groundbreaking for the German film industry. It has ensured a sustainable enhancement of the film location Germany and has invigorated the international competitiveness of the German film industry with all its employees.
Every year, German and international production companies invest six times the amount of the subsidies by means of the earmarked DFFF funds in Germany alone. This has led to investments in the context of cinema production amounting to more than 1.5 billion Euros. Numerous DFFF-funded films turned out to be great box-office-hits, causing a brand-new perception of German films abroad thanks to their quality. At the same time, DFFF can take considerable credit for the growing networking between German and international producers - a result of the large number of co-productions.
Thanks to the DFFF, the production site Germany has become increasingly attractive in the past five years not only for international cinema productions. Numerous small and medium-sized productions of various genres originate from Germany, including many film pearls that would have never been realised without the support of DFFF. However, DFFF has potential that greatly affects not only the economy but also the culture, proven by the numerous national and international film prizes awarded to DFFF productions in the past years.
By now, the solid structures achieved by DFFF have provided German producers with new perspectives. Even international large productions that would not have been realized anywhere but in Hollywood not too long ago, are now being developed in Germany. German producers and the production studios with state-of-theart technical standards have made it to the top league.
In the years between 2007 and 2011, Germany as a film production location with its manufacturers, creative heads, staff members and technicians has advanced to being a magnet for national and international filmmakers. The bottom line of this is: Germany delivers cinema-quality - continual, multifarious, and impressive. It shall remain this way.
Bernd Neumann, M.P.
Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor
Facts & Figures 2010 - 2012
|1||Who may submit an application?||
Film producers may submit an application. The film producer is defined as a person who is responsible for the production of a film right up to delivery of the final product - or share responsibility, in case of a co-production - and is actively involved in the production. Even if a number of co-producers working on a co-production fulfill the application requirements, the application must be submitted by only one co-producer. The co-producers must reach an agreement on this matter and provide the DFFF with a joint declaration to this effect when submitting their application.
|2||Which films qualify for grants?||
Grants can be awarded to any full-length film with a running time of at least 79 minutes, or at least 59 minutes for children`s films, providing the following criteria are fulfilled:
|3||What is the maximum amount of funding?||
The grant ceiling per film is four million Euros. Upon request by the producer, this grant ceiling can be extended to a maximum of ten million Euros. In order to qualify for this increased funding, the German production costs must reach at least 35 percent of the total cost or the film has to achieve two-thirds of the total possible points in the test of characteristics. The advisory board decides on such requests for increased funding.
A German production company produces a feature film
1st example of calculation:
Approved German production costs: 3.5 million Euros
2nd example of calculation:
|4||How much of the production costs need to be covered by applicant’s own investment?||
Applicants must invest at least 5 percent of the production costs through their own contribution in accordance with Section 34, § 1 through 4 of the Film Funding Law (FFG). The FFA executive board can make exceptions for a producer`s first two feature-length films and documentaries.
|5||Which other requirements need to be fulfilled?||
The application must be filed timely, at least six weeks prior to the start of shooting.
In principal, shooting or animation work must not start before the official notification of the grant.
The film must be completed within the indicated project timeline.
At the date of notification of the grant 75 percent of the total financing must be confirmed.
Within three months after receiving notification of the grant the total financing must be shown proof for.
In addition one final version of the film must be produced with German-language audio description and with German subtitles for the hearing-impaired.
|6||What are the rules for international co-productions?||
Applicants working on international co-productions must cover at least 20 percent of the production costs or five million Euros for productions with costs of over 25 million Euros.
|7||What are German production costs?||
German production costs are expenses that arise in Germany for film-related services provided by companies or their employees, staff or freelancers.
|8||Which costs are not taken into account when calculating the subsidy?||
The following items are not approved when calculating the grant:
costs for film rights and rights for other pre-existing works (incl. pre-existing music), except fees for the script on which the film is based, up to 3 percent of the German production costs but maximum 150,000 Euros; for documentaries, archival material up to 30 percent of the German cost of production,
legal consulting fees,
travel and transport expenses for actors,
actors` fees, if they exceed 15 percent of the German production costs,
contingency reserves of which no deliveries or services have been paid at the time of final auditing,
Deferments and contributions in kind.
|9||Can different sources of funding be combined?||
A combination with other sources of funding is only possible up to the European allowed limit for funding of max 50 percent of productions cost, or up to 80 percent for economically challenging films.
|10||When is the payment being made?||
The funding process begins when the application is submitted by the film producer to the DFFF.
If the evaluation process leads to a positive result, the FFA will issue a notification of a grant.
The disbursal generally takes place after the production has been completed. The FFA can also make payments by installments to be disbursed according to the progress of the production (33 percent at the start of principal photography and closing of the financing, 33 percent when the rough cut is completed, the remainder after the final cost analysis has been audited).
If installment payments are required, a film completion bond or a financial guarantee corresponding to the approved amount of funding must be provided for a grant exceeding two million Euros. In this case, a financial guarantee according to Section 31 FFG is not applicable.
|11||Can applications be re-submitted?||
Applications for the same project may be re-submitted twice.