The FFA supports distributors of successful German cinema films by way of a retroactive funding – the distribution reference funding. As with the production reference funding, the total number of reference points are calculated from the domestic admissions and the success at important national and international film festivals and film awards.
The prerequisite for funding is for a feature film to initially have reached at least 100,000 reference points (= admissions) or 50,000 admissions plus 50,000 points from awards and festivals within a year from its German premiere. Lower thresholds apply for films with production costs under 1,000,000 Euros, debut films as well as for children’s films and documentaries.
Moreover, in the case of children’s films and documentaries, the admissions are considered within the period of three years from both commercial and non-commercial performances.
The funding must be used within two years from the granting decision for the distribution of new feature-length films. It can be used for a new film's initial distribution costs, the financing of minimum guarantees, the making of fully accessible versions or foreign language versions, for extraordinary promotional measures or special expenditure incurred in distributing children's films as well as for increasing the distribution company's nominal capital.
The level of funding per reference point depends on the number of participating films and on the annual budget available. The FFA’s distribution reference funding is granted on application by the respective distributor once a year, and by the end of March at the latest.