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IRIS 2010-7:1/17

Germany

New Developments for Cinema Digitisation Aid

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Anne Yliniva-Hoffmann

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

On 6 May 2010, the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media - BKM) presented a model for the financial support of full cinema digitisation, developed in partnership with the Filmförderungsanstalt (Film Support Office - FFA).

The aim of the project is to protect the diversity of the cinema landscape and provide a basic cultural service. To this end, cinema operators who cannot afford to switch to digital projection technologies themselves will receive financial support. These particularly include art house cinemas, municipally-owned cinemas and cinemas in rural areas. The new system should begin in summer 2010, with EUR 4 million in the BKM's 2010 budget earmarked for the support of cinema digitisation.

On 19 May 2010, the Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Film Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia - NRW) launched its own support programme for cinema digitisation in NRW in order to promote a diverse cinema landscape and enable smaller cinemas to benefit from technical advances.

The programme seeks to provide a flat investment subsidy of EUR 20,000 per screen, with the cinema operator expected to pay 20% of the cost. The money will go towards the purchase of the equipment needed for digital cinema projection (server, projector and installation). It is available to cinemas in NRW with up to six screens and an average annual turnover of EUR 180,000 or less. The investment subsidy is available in addition to other public funding, such as funding from the FFA or BKM, and represents so-called de minimis aid in the sense of European State aid regulations.

References
Mitteilung des BKM Neumann DE
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=12535
 
  Press release of BKM Neumann    
Mitteilung der Filmstiftung NRW und weitere Hinweise DE
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=12527
 
  Press release of the Filmstiftung NRW and further references.