Germany and Brazil have signed a treaty to formalise theco-production of films between the two countries.

Films co-produced by German and Brazilian companies under thetreaty will qualify as 'national films' and consequently have access toreciprocal benefits such as the German public funds as well as equivalentsources in Brazil.

A co-production will require at least 20% involvement from boththe Brazilian and German parties in the financial, artistic, performing, andtechnical participation in a film's production and a joint commission willestablished made up of government officials and representatives of the film,television and video industries from both countries to meet at regularintervals to oversee the implementation and development of the agreement.

Speaking to, German-born Hank Levine, whoseBerlin-based production company Hank Levine Film co-produced FernandoMeirelles' international hit City Of God as an unofficial co-productionbetween Brazil and Germany, welcomed the signing of the treaty.

"At last, we've managed it," Levine said,pointing out that it had taken five years from the signing of an initialmemorandum of understanding during the 1999 Rio de Janeiro International FilmFestival by Dr. Max Dehmel from Germany's Economics Ministry and Jose AlvaroMoises, Secretary of State for Audiovisual Media, to the conclusion of thetreaty. "There were often attempts at co-productions in the past and afilm like Olga [by Jayme Monjardim] which was Brazil's official entryfor the Oscars this year, would have been an ideal candidate to have benefitedfrom such a treaty," noted Levine, who has recently co-directed thefootball documentary Ginga with Meirelles' company O2 Filmes.