Country Focus: Germany
Bernd Neumann: from minister to president
by Birgit Heidsiek
- Germany’s Federal Film Board (FFA) has a new president. Bernd Neumann, Minister of State and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media from 2005 to 2013, has been elected as the new chairman of the board of directors as well as the president of the FFA. In this new position, he takes over from Eberhard Junkersdorf, who has headed the FFA since 1999 and continues to be an honorary president.
The board of directors at the FFA consists of 36 members who are selected by the parliament, the government and various film organisations for a period of five years. A new board member is Christian Bräuer, chairman of the AG Kino Gilde, which represents the art-house and independent industries in Germany.
Neumann was nominated to the position by the German Producers Alliance. “It is important for me that I have not been delegated as a political representative, because I don’t want to be an extension of politics,” stated Neumann. “As Minister of State I always put a focus on film.” He pointed out that the FFA finally has clarity on its future after a lawsuit involving some exhibitors that had been going on for over ten years. Thanks to the judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court on 28 January, the uncertainty over the continued existence of the FFA has at last come to an end. “This represented a clearance,” emphasised Neumann. “The FFA’s future is now secure, but it is also a confirmation that federal film funding in Germany can also be cultural.”