The participation ofGerman films at 17 international festivals from Annecy to Zlin will now berecognised as an additional criterion for accessing "reference"production funding from the German Federal Film Board (FFA).

When the new German Film Law (FFG) came intoeffect at the beginning of this year, producers were informed that aninvitation to screen in the official competitions in Berlin, Cannes or Venicewould attract 150,000 reference points, while the winning of the main prize(Golden Bear, Golden Palm or Golden Lion) would secure 300,000 points.

The more reference points a film has, thegreater its share of a funding pool set aside by the FFA for successful films.Last year, 77 films shared a total of Euros 13.3m.

The FFA has now specified a second league of"other internationally significant festivals" where producers cancollect 50,000 reference points for being invited to screen in the maincompetition and 150,000 for winning the festival's main prize.

Seven film festivals - and their main prizes -are identified for feature films: Annecy (Grand Prix), Karlovy Vary (Grand Prix"Crystal Globe"), Locarno (Golden Leopard), Rotterdam (Tiger Award),San Sebastian (Golden Shell), Shanghai (Golden Cup) and Sundance (Best DramaticFeature).

Documentary filmmakers can pick up points forAmsterdam's IDFA, Paris' Cinema du Reel, Toronto's Hotdocs, and the festivalsin Yamagata and Sydney, while children's films can receive more points forbeing in competition at the children's festivals in Chicago, Gijon, Toronto(Sprockets), Zlin and Giffoni.

The awarding of these points, however, is alwayson condition that the film attains at least 50,000 admissions on its Germantheatrical release (at least 25,000 for documentaries and children's films).