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FUNDING Germany

Film support belongs to most successful chapters of cultural politics

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- German Federal Parliament has decided on the amendment to the film funding law

Film support belongs to most successful chapters of cultural politics

"The meaning of the film support is again approved by the German Bundestag," said Minister of State and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Bernd Neumann (photo). "Film is – like theatre – an expression of our worldwide unique cultural diversity. And what is valid for the theatres, also applies to film - both do not get by without support."

The FFG is the legal basis for institution of the German Federal Film Fund (FFA) and the collection of the film levy in order to support film under the rules of the film funding law (FFG). The FFA raises a film levy from exhibitors and video distributors including online services, as well as from TV providers and programme marketers.

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Neumann struck balance of the present film politics. The film support and the aid programme for the digitization of the cinemas belong to the most successful chapters of the cultural politics in this time. "The aid programmes of my house and the FFA for the digitization of the cinemas have decisively contributed to preserve our diverse cinema landscape," said the minister. "By the end of 2013, the German government will provide a total of €21 million for the digital conversion of theatres. This is one million euro more than was originally approved. By the end of this year the digitization of the cinemas will be largely concluded."

Further essential changes of the film law are the expansion of the tax liability on Video-on-Demand providers based abroad, the flexibility of distribution windows and the measures for accessibility. In addition, the digitization of the film inheritance will be included in the catalogue of the FFA. Due to the rapid technological transition, the life of the new law is limited to only three instead of five years. In particular the conversion from DVD to Video-on-Demand distribution will change the current market structures which might require an adaptation of the dues system.

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