Magazine article Screen International

New German Film Law in the Pipeline

Magazine article Screen International

New German Film Law in the Pipeline

Article excerpt

According to the leaked document, the new FFG - which would come into effect from Jan 1, 2017 - could include a reduction in the number of funding committees administered by the German Federal Film Board (FFA) from the present six to only three (screenplay and project funding; distribution, sales and video funding; cinema funding), a fairer gender balance in the committees; and a greater professionalisation in the decision-making process by drawing on recognised industry experts.

In addition, the document's authors suggest that there could be a change to the FFG's automatic "reference funding" category where films which have been successful at the German box office or at national and international festivals, can receive funding to invest in new projects.

In future, a 25% bonus in so-called "reference points" might be awarded if the box-office takings exceed a film's production costs.

Moreover, the success of a German film in cinemas outisde of Germany should also be considered when calculating the "reference points". This could be seen as taking into account that some recent German films - such as the German Oscar candidate Labyrinth of Lies - have been more successful commercially in foreign markets than at home.

News of the BKM document came after the FFA's CEO Peter Dinges had spoken at this week's Film- und Kinokongress NRW in Cologne about his expectations of a revised FFG from 2017.

He reported that the cinema attendance during 2015 had been so strong that he expected an increase in the levy coming from the cinemas to around euro28m ($30m) going into the FFA's coffers.

Moreover, Dinges said that he was "very optimistic" that a decision will soon be made the European Commission on the requirement in the current FFG that video-on-demand platforms based outside of Germany should also make financial contributions to the FFA.

DSM update: Communication leaked

European film policy was also addressed during the Cologne conference with a panel on the Digital Single Market strategy featuring Creative Europe MEDIA's Martin Dawson, the European Audiovisual Observatory's Francisco Javier Cabrera and Alfred Holighaus, president of the German film industry's "umbrella" organisation SPIO.

Although Dawson did not go into any specifics about the planned Communication on European copyright, the Commission document - "Towards a modern, more European copyright framework" - had found its way into the public domain.

Apart from presenting a regulation on the 'portability' of online content services, the Communication also suggests that legislative proposals are being considered for adoption in spring 2016 to enhance the cross-border distribution of television and radio programmes online, Support right holders and distributors in reaching agreement on licences that allow for cross-border access to content, and facilitate the digitisation of out-of-commerce collections and make them available, including across the EU. …

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