A record Euros 22.6m in retroactive "reference" funding is to be distributed to around 100 German producers and distributors by the German Federal Film Board (FFA) for successful theatrical releases of German films in 2002. Last year, the FFA had handed out Euros 21.6m.

The Oscar-nominated Nowhere In Africa and co-productions The Pianist and Winged Migration as well as the local teen comedies Knallharte Jungs and Erkan & Stefan - Gegen Die Maechte der Finsternis, and the children's title Bibi Blocksberg are among the films which will have generated "reference" funding for producers and distributors to invest in new German features.

The advantage with this support is that they don't have to make any concessions to regional economic "effects", TV stations or funding committees in their choice of project.

The production "reference" funding is granted if a film has reached at least 100,000 admissions, although a lower threshold of 50,000 is accepted if a film has received a quality certificate or won a main prize at an 'A-list' festival (Documentaries and children's or young people's films are only required to sell at least 25,000 tickets.).

The exact amounts to be allocated and the names of the most successful producer and distributor of German films will be unveiled at a ceremony in Berlin on March 28.