The European Commission greenlights second extension of Germany’s DFFF incentive scheme to 2015, Commissioner to present report on CCIs contribution to growth and jobs.

The European Commission (EC) has greenlit the second extension of Germany’s incentive programme DFFF for another three years with a total budget of €180m from January 1, 2013 to the end of 2015.

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In his announcement of the € 60m fund’s extension, State Minister for Culture and Media Bernd Neumann [pictured] said that the DFFF “has since become a central component of film funding and plays a decisive contribution to the competitiveness of the German film industry.”

Since being launched at the beginning of 2007, the DFFF has backed 580 films with a total of € 329m funding (as of the end of August 2012) and has generated a “German spend” of around €2bn.

The most recent projects to benefit from the DFFF incentive scheme include Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Tony Pemberton’s Buddha’s Little Finger, Nadav Shirman’s Der grüne Prinz, Thomas Arslan’s Gold, Til Schweiger’s Kokowääh 2, and Denis Dercourt’s Zum Geburtstag.

The extension also sees a number of key changes to the DFFF’s guidelines from 2013: funding will be granted on condition that the supported film has a theatrical release on at least 45 prints (until now that had been 30 prints). In the case of a production receiving less than € 320,000 funding, the minimum number of prints stands at 20, while distribution contracts for documentaries must envisage at least eight prints (previously four) and those films receiving DFFF funding over €4m must be released on at least 200 prints.

In addition, funding applications must be submitted at least six weeks before the beginning of principal photography “so that the DFFF project team will have the possibility of  examining the application extensively before the beginning of shooting.”

Neumann has also heeded calls from the German visual effects community and given more weight to virtual shoots in the DFFF’s cultural test from 2013. Thus, there will be greater consideration of “productions where only the virtual shoot takes place in Germany or where the live-action shoot in Germany cannot score any points.”

Meanwhile, in a separate development against the background of the ongoing preparations for the Creative Europe programme, the EC has  announced that Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou will present a report this week highlighting the contribution made by the cultural and creative sectors to growth and jobs – and how to boost this in the future.

The report is expected to throw light on five main areas, such as improving access to finance and enlarging marketplaces through partnerships and new business models, that the Member States should focus on to better exploit the potential of these sectors.