More cash available to attract co-productions to Germany
by Birgit Heidsiek
- The new, second German Federal Film Fund has been endowed with €75 million to entice international productions to the country
With the decision to double the budget of the film support granted by the state of Germany (from €75 million to €150 million) by next year, the German government aims to consolidate the competitiveness of Germany as a filming location. Besides the German Federal Film Fund that already supports productions once they are shooting in Germany, an additional new German Federal Film Fund will provide incentives for big-budget films from Germany and abroad. The announcement by Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, follows the German film industry’s requests for structures that will attract producers from other countries so as to create more business for German film studios and VFX companies. This collaboration with international crews is expected to lead to a professionalisation of German film teams.
Despite five national support programmes and eight regional funds with a total budget of more than €300 million, there has been a clear lack of film support for international productions. In comparison to the tax incentives in various countries such as Great Britain, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, there has not been an equivalent system to attract international co-productions to come to Germany, as members of the German industry pointed out during this year’s Berlinale. At the beginning of the festival, Grütters increased the budget of the German Federal Film Fund from €50 million to €75 million in 2017, and mentioned the possibility of launching a new fund for bigger productions (see the news).
This has now become reality. This year, the new fund will start with €25 million and will be tripled next year. When the minister announced the nominations for the German Film Awards, she also gave an overview of the funding budget for 2018-2021. All in all, cultural support on a national level, including the German Federal Film Fund and the second German Federal Film Fund, will amount to €150 million. “This is great news for Germany as a filming location, the producers and service providers, as well as the team members in the various departments,” emphasises Alexander Thies, chairman of the German Producers Alliance, who is delighted that producers will be able to get more certainty in terms of their planning. “We needed this in order to keep up with all of our competitors across the world.”