Production – Germany/Netherlands
Country Focus: Germany
The beginning of a wonderful friendship
by Birgit Heidsiek
- The German-Dutch co-production treaty has been signed at the Berlinale
Approximately two years after Peter Dinges, chairman of the Federal Film Board, stated, “This is the beginning of a wonderful friendship,” at the Holland Film Meeting in Utrecht, the co-production treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the government of the Netherlands has been signed during the Berlin International Film Festival.
The German-Dutch co-production agreement was signed by Mariette Bussemaker, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science; Monika Grütters, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media; and Andreas Görgen, head of the Culture and Communication Department at the Federal Foreign Office, in the presence of the press and industry. The treaty is intended to stimulate collaborations between the two countries by facilitating the conditions for co-productions.
Initiated by the Federal Film Board and the Netherlands Film Fund, the treaty provides an important basis for boosting bilateral co-production and the development of the film industry and film culture in the two nations. The agreement specifies the conditions that determine which films are eligible for aid. Movies that are made as co-productions between Germany and the Netherlands will be considered by both countries to be national films, and they will have access to public film funds. The level of each co-producer’s contribution in terms of cast and crew, and artistic as well as technical input, must be in line with the funding that they bring to the project. A film production may qualify if the minority producer contributes a share of at least 10% of the funding.
At this year’s Berlinale, there are already two films in the official programme that are German-Dutch co-productions. The Forum has presented the road movie Zurich [+see also:
film profile] by Sacha Polak, which is produced by Viking Film in co-production with Berlin-based Rohfilm and A Private View in Belgium. Meanwhile, Saskia Diesing’s family drama Nena [+see also:
film profile] is celebrating its premiere in Generation 14plus; the father-daughter story starring well-known German actor Uwe Ochsenknecht was produced by Dutch production outfit Key Film and Cologne-based Coin Film.
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