Government officials due at the Berlinale for the signing of the treaty.

In Berlin today [Feb 7], the Dutch-German coproduction treaty will finally be ratified.

The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Dr. Jet Bussemaker and German State ministers Prof. Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, and Dr. Andreas Görgen, Head of Culture and Communication at the Federal Foreign Office, are due at the Berlinale for the signing of the treaty.

The German Federal Film Förderungs Anstalt (FFA) and Netherlands Film Fund took the lead in recent years, preparing the treaty, which will boost bilateral co-production and the development of the film industry and film culture in both countries.

“With the coproduction agreement between Germany and the Netherlands, we are starting yet another chapter of our successful partnership,” FFA Executive Managing Director Peter Dinges told ScreenDaily.

“The agreement is a logical result of the initiative of the Netherlands Film Fund and the German Federal Film Board (FFA) and that started in 2011. It was and is our goal to stimulate the intercultural awareness in filmmaking between our two countries and to increase the number of co-productions. The treaty is an important cornerstone which will bring the two countries’ creative, artistic, technical, financial and marketing resources together to co-produce films.”

Speaking to ScreenDaily, Doreen Boonekamp, Director of the Netherlands Film Fund, added: “In this treaty, we stated that if both parties agreed, we could have bilateral coproductions between the two countries when the minority producer will bring in 10% of the financing.

“If you coproduce under the European Convention, you (as a minority coproducer) still have to bring forward at least 20%. When you are talking about coproducing between Germany, which is a much bigger country with a high production capacity, and the Netherlands, which is much smaller, for Dutch producers, it is quite difficult to bring forward this 20%.”

Under the new treaty, Boonekamp suggested, coproducing between Germany and The Netherlands will now become much easier.

The Dutch and the Germans are already working closely together. Both countries are partners in new feature films Zurich by Sacha Polak (script Helena van der Meulen, Viking Film, co-producers Rohfilm and Flanders, and sold by Beta) and Nena by Saskia Diesing (production KeyFilm, coproducer Coin Movie), both selected for the Berlinale.

Another sign of the increasingly close ties between Dutch and German film industries is the new Dutch-German Children’s Films Co-Development Fund, a cross-border development fund aimed at supporting children’s and youth films backed by The Netherlands Film Fund together with German partner Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM).