[DE] Coronavirus crisis: German film support agencies launch joint aid programme

IRIS 2020-5:1/23

Jan Henrich

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

In an effort to reduce the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the German film and cinema industry, film support agencies at federal and regional levels have launched a joint aid programme. On 27 March 2020, the national Filmförderanstalt (Film Support Agency – FFA) announced that the programme would fund the production, rental and cinema sectors to the tune of EUR 15 million. The measures, which are designed to be implemented quickly and without unnecessary bureaucracy, took immediate effect.

The coronavirus pandemic is having a direct impact on the entire film industry. Some elements of film production, distribution and screening have come to a complete standstill. With this in mind, the FFA had already announced a number of emergency aid schemes in mid-March and these have now been combined to form a joint package of measures.

As part of the measures, the film support agencies will waive the repayment of funds that have already been paid out following the coronavirus-related cancellation of the shooting or release of a film. Special support is also available to cover additional costs linked to the postponement of such activities. The package also includes help for projects that were due to begin production or be released in cinemas before 30 June 2020, and for which funding had already been promised before 18 March 2020. The FFA fees and loan repayments owed by cinemas can also be deferred.

The agencies involved in the aid programme are the regional FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF), Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH), Film- und Medienstiftung NRW (FMS), HessenFilm, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB), Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg (MFG), Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM) and nordmedia, while at federal level, the FFA is joined by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM), the Deutsche Filmförderfonds (DFFF), Kulturelle Filmförderung and the German Motion Picture Fund (GMPF).

In addition to the joint aid programme, the regional film support agencies have launched individual measures, including an increase in cinema programming grants. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, all cinemas that received awards for an ambitious and diverse film programme in 2019 will receive an additional EUR 5 000 payment.

In their joint statement, the film support agencies stressed that the new package of measures would reach areas that were not covered by any of the other coronavirus-related support schemes being operated at federal or regional level.



This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.