The debate on a revised Film Funding Law (FFG) - due to come into effect from 2004 - has heated up with the German film industry "umbrella organisation" SPIO calling on the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF to follow the State Ministry for Culture's (BKM) proposal and substantially increase their financial support for the German Federal Film Board's (FFA) activities to Euros 40m .

The SPIO member associations argued that this proposed sum was "appropriate" and requested "the broadcasters immediately make a binding agreement so that a formulation of the law will be possible in good time."

"Should the channels not submit a binding declaration, the SPIO will expect a statutory levy regulation for the broadcasters as well [as is already in place for exhibitors and the video industry]", SPIO stressed.

At the moment, the public broadcasters provide Euros 5.5m to the FFA under the auspices of the Film/Television Co-production Agreement.