Also, German reaction to EC’s proposed Cinema Communication at Film Industry Summit.
Calls for the DFFF “German spend“ incentive scheme’s cap of €4m to be abolished were voiced at this year’s Film Industry Summit in Berlin.
“If Germany wants to stay competitive with other countries, the capping at €4m or €10m has to be abolished or at least raised. The cap of €4m is a hurdle for producers wanting to have more certainty in their planning,“ media lawyer Hans Radau argued.
However, he noted that State Minister for Culture and Media Bernd Neumann had indicated in Cannes last month that the DFFF should be extended for another three years until 2015, but without any raising of the cap thresholds.
Furthermore, Neumann had said he would be aiming to increase the minimum number of prints for a feature film wanting to receive DFFF backing from 30 to 45, and for documentaries from 5 to 8 prints.
In his review of the DFFF’s position, Radau also suggested that the incentive should have an unlimited budget like the UK’s Film Tax Credit and consider extending to include international television productions on the lines of the UK scheme.
Speaking about the German position on the European Commission’s proposed Cinema Communication, Günter Winands, under-secretary at Neumann’s BKM ministry, pointed out that the fact the UK Film Tax Credit does not have any upper limit could pose an “enormous problem for the British if the Cinema Communication is passed as it stands at the moment. That is why they have joined forces with [State Minister for Culture and Media] Bernd Neumann to prevent this. It isn’t such a problem for us because we have the upper limit of € 10m.”
“The Communication’s proposed upper limit would mean that the whole Film Tax Credit system would collapse,“ Winands said. “But it is in our interest to support the British because they then help us on the issue of territorialisation.”
Winands explained that there had been efforts from Germany to have the Communication also cover cinemas, “but this will probably fall on deaf ears in the Commission.“
However, he reported that a joint delegation from Germany, UK, France and Austria had met with EC officials in Brussels and reached a change to the definition of territorialisation in the Communication’s FAQ, which he hoped would then be adopted in the final Communication text.