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IRIS 2012-10:1/9

Germany

German Film Fund Extended Until 2015

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Martin Rupp

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

On 21 September 2012, the Federal Government announced that the Deutsche Filmförderfonds (German Film Fund - DFFF) would be extended for a further three years. As part of the arrangement, film producers will, in future, be obliged to produce barrier-free versions of subsidised films.

The DFFF was created on the basis of the Directive of the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media - BKM) “Anreiz zur Stärkung der Filmproduktion in Deutschland” (incentive to strengthen film production in Germany) (DFFF Directive). According to the DFFF Directive and Articles 23 and 44 of the Bundeshaushaltsordnung (Federal Budgetary Regulations - BHO), the Filmförderungsanstalt (Film Support Institute - FFA) provides funding for film production (see IRIS 2007-1/3, IRIS 2006-8/17 and IRIS 2005-8/18). From 2007 until the end of August 2012, around EUR 329 million in film subsidies was granted. Since then, according to the Minister for Culture, the DFFF has been making a decisive contribution to the competitiveness of the German film industry; its activities have now been extended for an additional three years for the second time.

As part of the extension, a number of amendments were made to the DFFF Directive. For example, the minimum number of copies for cinema release was increased (Art. 6(1)), an application deadline of at least six weeks before the start of filming was laid down (Art. 16(2)), the sum paid to German Films (the German film industry’s central body for the representation of German films abroad) for foreign sales was limited to EUR 50,000 and a provision was added requiring greater account to be taken of virtual shooting in the test of cultural characteristics (Art. 10 in conjunction with Appendix 2). One important amendment stressed by the Minister for Culture is the obligation to produce barrier-free films (Art. 5(4)). This rule means that the final version of a film must also be produced with German audio description and German subtitles. It is designed to help people with impaired hearing and vision to benefit from the results of film support. The FFA can grant an exemption from this obligation in exceptional cases.

The revised Directive will enter into force on 1 January 2013.

References
Richtlinie des BKM „Anreiz zur Stärkung der Filmproduktion in Deutschland“ (Deutscher Filmförderfonds), Stand vom 17. September 2012 DE
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=16177
 
  BKM Directive "incentive to strengthen film production in Germany" (DFFF Directive), version of 17 September 2012