The German production community is facing a crisis which could see the numbers of film and TV producers decimated by the end of next year, according to Stefan Arndt of X-Filme Creative Pool.

Speaking at a discussion during Cologne's Medienforum on the future structure of the new German Film Law (FFG), Arndt declared that the Kirch crisis, the controversy about the new copyright legislation and the Media Decree could see the 1,000-odd producers in Germany reduced to 100-150 in the next 12 months.

"This is a Europe-wide problem", Arndt told Screendaily. "In France, Messier is going crazy; in Spain, there are problems with pay-TV and in Italy with Berlusconi. Here, a bigger crisis has come about with the Kirch crisis because a real panic has set in".

"The official figures say that there will be only 200 TV movies instead of 300, but I have feeling it will be more like 100", he predicted.

Arndt admitted that X-Filme Creative Pool is in "a rather privileged position" because the Berlin-based production outfit will be making three feature films in the second half of this year - Achim von Borries 'Die Liebe In Gedanken, Hendrik Handloegten's Liegen Lernen and Mennan Yapo's Lautlos . "I know we'll survive, so that's why we as X-Filme can dare to say publicly how terrible the situation is", he stated.

"Colleagues in companies at [the producers lobby] Film 20 with much more experience and money than us once talked of 300 surviving and now speak of 20, 50 or 100", Ardt declared.