The German Federal Film Board (FFA) is planning to invest $56m (€40m) to help speed up the development digital cinema.

The expansion of digital cinema in Germany has been delayed so far due to a legal wrangle between the film industry and the exhibitors over who will pay for it.

At a sitting of the FFA’s administrative council, German state minister for Culture Bernd Neumann indicated that he would use public funding to support the digital roll-out.

In return, the exhibitors, including UCI and Cinestar chains, must drop their legal action and resume payments to the FFA without any reservations.

However, there will be a review of the German Film Law (FFG) to ensure that all those making financial contributions to the FFA, including the broadcasters, are participating on an equal and fair basis.

In a heated debate about the future of German film funding at the in Colonge on Tuesday (June 23), Steffen Kuchenreuther, president of film industry body SPIO, said some parts of the industry were only thinking short-term.

Meanwhile, producer Tom Spiess of Little Shark Entertainment said the halt in FFA funding has had a “serious and dramatic” effect on producers.

The country’s regional funding bodies have been overwhelmed by applications from producers looking to close financing on projects for next year. This week Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg received more than 100 applications totalling $32.3m (€23m), which is almost as much as its annual budget.