The German Federal Film Board (FFA) has paid out a total ofEuros 24.9m in retroactive "reference" funding to local producersand distributors.

The FFA pays out the money each year to producers anddistributors whose films have racked up significant box office admissions. Themoney must then be invested in the production of new German features or thedistribution of films.

Munich's production powerhouse Constantin Film Produktionand distributor Constantin Film Verleih took the greatest share of cash fromthe FFA.

The box-office success of such films as OliverHirschbiegel's Oscar-nominated Downfalland the family film My Magical Friend Sams earned Constantin Film Produktion over Euros 3m to invest in newfeatures.

In second place was Michael "Bully" Herbig's HerbXFilm on the strength of only one production - Dreamship Surprise - Period 1 and which generated Euros 2m "reference"support.

Wueste Filmproduktion came third and picked up just overEuros 1m for the success of Fatih Akin's Head-On.

Meanwhile, Constantin Film Verleih was awarded Euros 1m"reference" distribution support, followed by Euros 435,571 for XVerleih and Euros 414,458 for Timebandits Films.