After discussions by the Federal Council of German States (Bundesrat) and several rounds of hearing the German federal government's draft (see our April 2016 Newsletter for details) has now been finally discussed in parliament. On November 10, the German parliament (Bundestagpassed (in German only) the re-newed German Film Subsidy Act (Filmförderungsgesetz, FFG).

While there has not been any structural change in the funding models or mechanism, the new Act raises the minimum subsidy amount to EUR 200,000 per project, aiming to reduce the number of funded films and thereby increase individual subsidy amounts for high quality, more promising projects. Development funding will be increased overall. The provisions most heavily disputed during the legislative process, i.e. the holdback periods for different forms of exploitation, were maintained as in the current Act (six months after theatrical release of the funded film for DVD/BluRay and VoD exploitation, twelve months for Pay TV exploitation, and 18 months for Free TV exploitation). However, in addition to the existing possibility to shorten the periods upon application, the possibility of an extraordinary, further reduction or complete waiver of holdback periods was added.

Further, the new Act will restructure and diversify the decision-making bodies within the German Federal Film Fund (Filmförderungsanstalt, FFA).

The new Film Subsidy Act, when enacted and notified by the EU Commission, will be applicable from 2017 through 2021.