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.
Film producers are defined as persons who are responsible for the production of a film right up to delivery of the final product – or share responsibility, as in the case of a co-production – and are actively involved in the production. Even if a number of co-producers working on a co-production fulfill the application requirements, the application may only be submitted by one co-producer. The co-producers must reach an agreement on this matter and provide the FFA with a joint declaration to this effect when submitting their application.
Applicants must have a legal residence or registered place of business in Germany. Should applicants have a legal residence or registered place of business in another member country of the European Union or in another state that is a signatory to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, then they must have a branch office in Germany.
If the film is produced by the German subsidiary or branch office of a producer with a place of business outside the European Union or outside the member states of the European Economic Area, then all criteria for the granting of funds must be met by the German subsidiary or branch office.
Applicants must have produced, either as a company or a person, at least one full-length film ("reference" film) in Germany or in another member state of the European Union or in a state that is a signatory to the Agreement on the European Economic Area within the five years preceding submission of the application.
The reference film must have been commercially released in German cinemas with at least 30 copies, or at least 15 copies if the production costs were as high as two million euros. Should the reference film be the producer's first work, a theatrical release with ten copies – or four copies for documentary films – is sufficient.
If funding is sought for the applicant's first film, the only reference required is approval for funding by the office of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM), the FFA, or a film board in one of the German states.
|2||What 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||How large are the grants?||
The normal grant ceiling per film is four million euros. Following a special request from the producer, this grant ceiling can be extended to a maximum of 10 million euros. In order to qualify for this extra funding, the German production costs must make up at least 35 percent of the total costs or the film has to receive two-thirds of the total possible points in the funding eligibility test. The advisory council decides on such requests for extra funding.
Grants can amount to up to 20 percent of the approved German production costs. When calculating funding, the approved German productions costs will only be taken into consideration up to an amount corresponding to a maximum of 80 percent of the production costs (upper limit).
Should the German production costs turn out higher than originally anticipated, they can be adjusted by a maximum of eight percent compared to the original German production costs listed in the application, subject to available financing. Despite subsequent increases in German production costs, only a maximum of 80 percent of the production costs may be used as a basis for calculating grants.
A German production company produces a feature film
1st calculation example:
Production costs: 4 million euros
German production costs: 4 million euros
Approved German production costs: 3.5 million euros
Upper limit: 3.2 million euros (= 80 % of the production costs)
(upper limit) 3.2 million euros
Grant: 640,000 euros (= 20% of the upper limit)
2nd calculation example:
Production costs: 4 million euros
German production costs: 3.5 million euros
Approved German production costs: 3 million euros
Upper limit 3.2 million euros (= 80 % of production costs)
Calculation threshold 3 million euros
(Approved German production costs)
Grant: 600,000 euros (= 20% of the approved German production costs)
|4||How much of the production costs needs to be covered by applicants?||
Applicants must pay at least 5 percent of the production costs in accordance with Section 34, Paragraphs 1 through 4 of the Film Funding Law (FFG). The FFA management committee can make exceptions for a producer's first two full-length films and documentaries.
|5||What other requirements need to be fulfilled?||
Proof must be supplied that the theatrical exhibition is covered by a legally binding distribution contract. This contract must stipulate a theatrical exhibition in the following dimensions:
|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.
When it comes to grant applications for co-productions involving a producer located outside of the European Economic Area, applicants must have produced a reference film alone or as a co-producer with a majority share. In exceptional cases, the FFA management committee can waive the majority share requirement if there is no doubt as to the applicant's professional qualifications.
For co-productions that are produced according to the European Convention, the eligibility test alone is conducted with respect to the point system in Appendix II of the European Convention.
International co-productions have to fulfill all funding requirements.
You will receive no grant if the German contribution is merely of a financial nature, in other words, if the German partner does not share responsibility for the content of the film and is not actively involved in the production process.
|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 expenses are not approved?||
The following items are not approved when calculating the grant:
|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 up to 50 percent, or up to 80 percent for short, challenging films.
|10||When is the payment made?||
The funding process begins when the application is submitted by the film producer to the FFA.
If the evaluation process leads to a positive result, the FFA will issue an official authorization.
Payment generally takes place after the production has been completed. The FFA can also make provisions for installment payments to be disbursed according to the progress of the production (33 percent when shooting begins, 33 percent when the rough cut is completed, the remainder after the final cost analysis has been examined). For funding exceeding two million euros, installment payments are required along with proof of a film production completion bond or a financial guarantee corresponding to the approved amount of funding provided. In this case, a financial guarantee according to Section 31 FFG is not possible.
In essence, the funding need not be repaid. However, if the conditions are not met, the official authorization becomes null and void.
|11||Can applications be re-submitted?||
Applications for the same project may be submitted twice.