Industry Report: Financing
Panorama of the film financing in Germany II: Regional support
by Julio Talavera Milla
- 1.- Introduction
The regional support in Germany represents almost 50% of the overall support in the country. The regions (Länder) started to set up regional programmes and institutions at the end of the seventies, being Filmförderung Hamburg the first regional cinema support fund at disposal in Germany. Nowadays the regional institutions, representing one or more regions, amount all together to a budget of roughly Euro 140M a year.
Their production support schemes are based on the principle of regional effect (Regionaleffekt); it means that the granted amount depends on the planned spend in the region. The minimum demanded regional effect is generally 150% of the awarded amount. In other words, for each granted Euro the producer has to invest at least Euro 1,5 in the region. The bigger is the planed effect of the applying production, the higher is the chance to be granted. The money is granted as a repayable grant.
These institutions are equally financed by the regional governments and the regional public and private broadcasters and usually have attached a film commission to attract investors to the region.
Unlike the national institutions, the support granted by regional institution is to be applied for at the first stage of the financing process, after having attached a broadcaster and a distributor to the project. Also unlike national support, these regional institutions also foster the production of TV-movies.
2.- Filmstiftung NRW
Filmstiftung NRW was created in the 90’s to promote the film industry in North Rhine-Westphalia, a region without an important cinema industry background at that time. It is an example of how to develop the industry in a region from bottom to top of the European industry. Many facilities were set up and nowadays it is one of the most well known European locations for national and international productions. Filmstiftung NRW is the leading regional fund in Germany in terms of money, with a budget amounting to Euro 34m in 2008, of which Euro 22m go to support the cinema production.
3.- Medien Board Berlin-Brandenburg (MBBB)
MBBB is part of the Capital Regions for Cinema Network and has an annual budget of Euro 28m. The selection process takes place five times a year and in 2008 almost 500 projects applied for grants. In partnership with Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung an agreement has been signed with the Polish Film Institute for co-development of German-Polish projects, with an allocated amount of Euro 125k a year. There are schemes for script development, project development or distribution, but the main scheme is the one for film production for short and feature films (mainstream, art-house, child films and documentary) with an allocation of roughly Euro 16m.
4.- FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF)
FFF has a budget of Euro 26m and grants loans for cinema production of up to 30% of the film’s budget with a granting ceiling of Euro 1,6m.
FFF created the Bayerische Bankenfond in 2000, a financing instrument for the film industry in partnership with several private banks. In addition to FFF support this bank puts every year Euro 10m at disposal of producer and distributors so as to get their projects financed.
5.- Links to other regional funds
Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg (MFG)
FilmFörderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein
Stiftung Rheinland-Pfalz für Kultur
Julio Talavera Milla