Announced in February, now finally coming into force: the German Federal Film Fund has created an additional fund – the DFFF II – with the aim of creating an incentive for major national and international projects to come to Germany and thus securing the competitiveness of the German film industry.
The DFFF II fund has a financing volume of EUR 25m for the remaining period of 2017 and it is available as of August 1, 2017 for large scale theatrical projects with a minimum budget of EUR 20m. Applications can be filed now. New and particularly appealing to foreign producers: their German production service provider, such as production studios or VFX service providers, are the eligible applicants for the DFFF II.
In a nutshell
Who can apply?
Applications can be filed by German production service providers with verifiable experience and expertise in providing services for audiovisual media, i.e. production services for at least two feature-length theatrical productions, each with total production costs of no less than EUR 10m and a contract value of a minimum of EUR 1m. Alternatively, the applicant should have been a producer on such aforementioned theatrical films.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To access funding, theatrical live or animated motion pictures must account for a minimum spend of EUR 8m on German production costs with an overall budget of at least EUR 20m. The basis of assessment for the amount of the subsidy is, at a maximum, 80% of the overall production costs. The subsidy share is 25% of the German production costs capped at EUR 25m per project.
Shooting days in Germany are not mandatory. Hence, it is possible to apply for funding merely for VFX services. The threshold of meeting the qualifying criteria of the cultural test is the same as for the DFFF I. The allocation of the funding will be made by the German Federal Film Board (FFA). DFFF II-funded films must be exploited in Germany and respect the legally required windows. Theatrical exploitation shall take place no later than one year following the production of the final answer print (Nullkopie) but exceptions can be made. Please note that an application for DFFF II funds is only admissible if no other German federal film subsidies have been applied for, i.e. DFFF II funds cannot be cumulated with GMPF for example. DFFF II may, nevertheless, be combined with funding at a regional level (e.g. FFF Bayern, MBB, etc.).
The federal cabinet adopted a (preliminary) DFFF II budget for 2018 which includes an increase of the available funding to EUR 75m per year. Also the DFFF I, i.e. the existing German Federal Film Fund which is also administered by the FFA (http://www.dfff-ffa.de/en.html) shall be increased to EUR 50m.
Speaking of the DFFF I: there will be significant changes as well. To support bigger film productions, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media has increased the funding percentage from 20% to 25% for German production costs exceeding EUR 8m. This is good news for producers with a project exceeding EUR 8m production costs: if you are already in a successful application process but do not have a confirmed allocation decision yet, you’ll get additional 5% out of the pot.