Germany'sState Minister for Culture Bernd Neumann has received the green light from theEuropean Commission in Brussels for the new film production incentive scheme tocome into effect as planned on January 1, 2007.

Commentingon the Commission's swift processing of the German proposal, Neumann said:'This is a great negotiated success. The path is thereby also prepared nowin Germany for internationally competitive production conditions which arecomparable with other EU countries.'

The new production costs rebate model - known officially in Germanyas the 'Deutscher Filmfoerderfonds' - makes $80m (Euros 60m) available annually over the next three years from the federal government budget.

It takes the form of non-recourse, non-repayable, non-recoupable rebates on part ofthe so-called 'German spends' for theatrical feature films with totalproduction costs of at least $1.3m (Euros 1m), documentaries with costs of at least $260,000 (Euros 200,000), and animation films costing at least $3.9m (Euros 3m.)

Producers can expecta rebate of between 16-20% on a recognised 'German spend'.