Festival selectors for Cannes, Venice and Berlin could exert an unacceptable influence on future German film funding decisions under the proposed new German Film Law (FFG), according to Klaus Schaefer, managing director of the Bavarian Film & Television Fund FFF Bayern.

The new Film Law proposes that producers could gather "reference points" by participating at the three main "A" festivals to qualify for "retroactive" production support (Screendaily, April 3 2003).

Schaefer said that the "shift of German funding decisions to obscure and incomprehensible selection decisions [is] unacceptable. Such decisions are made by selectors for festival programmes who are not entitled to make funding decisions and largely operate hidden away."

"It ought to be sufficiently known that decisions on which film may participate in a festival are not in an way made purely according to qualitative criteria, but are really also orientated to other standpoints", Schaefer said.

"An objective verifiability of these decisions is not given and is also consciously not desired by the festival organisers. It is absurd to link the allocation of German funding money to these selection mechanisms," said Schaefer.

Responding to Schaefer's criticism, Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick told Screendaily: "the decisions for the Official Competition are of the same transparency as the decisions I made in twenty years at three German film funding institutions."