International co-productions shooting in Germany have received more than half of the $28m (Euros 20.9m) allocated by the new German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) in its first six months of operation.

Speaking at a review of the DFFF's first six months at this week's Munich Film Festival, project manager Christine Berg explained that $16.3m (Euros 12.1m) had been awarded to international productions shooting in Germany, with the bulk of this - $12m (Euros 9m) - going to one single project, Speed Racer by the Wachowski brothers.

In total, $24.4m (Euros 18.1m) has been paid out to feature films, $227,572 (Euros 169,000) to feature documentaries, and $3.5m (Euros 2.6m) to animation features, including the first two international animation projects, Jasper - Reise Bis Ans Ende Der Welt and Niko & The Way To The Stars.

To date, 34 film projects have qualified for DFFF support with only one project being turned down because it didn't reach the required number of points in the cultural test.

'We are noticing a trend of more productions coming to Germany that are wanting to apply for more than the $5.4m (Euros 4m) cap,' Berg noted. 'And there is also a slight tendency for more post-production work being attracted to Germany.'

Hans Radau of lawyers Noerr Stiefenhofer Lutz, who was a member of the group of experts drafting the DFFF guidelines, agreed that 'there is more interest from abroad in the DFFF and the news has arrived in the US. We are currently also advising on three European co-productions including a $10.8m (Euros 8m) historical project between Germany, France and Luxembourg which wouldn't be coming to Germany if it wasn't for the DFFF.'

The DFFF already appears to have been so successful in boosting film production in Germany that, according to Christoph Fisser, deputy board chairman of Studio Babelsberg, 'we are getting to the point where crew availability and studio capacities are being stretched to the limit.'

Meanwhile, Berg pointed out that initial fears within the industry that the establishment of the DFFF would see a reduction of the financial contributions by other funding institutions or broadcasters had proven to be unfounded. 'These contributions were not reduced - the DFFF is indeed additional money.'

At the same time, Berg revealed that the issue of projects where a TV two-parter is being produced alongside a feature film is being 'hotly discussed' at the DFFF. 'We are looking for a definition of how to deal with these projects. We don't want any concealed funding of television [through the DFFF],' she said.

Constantin Film is currently using this model - previously adopted by Oliver Hirschbiegel for the Hitler bunker drama Downfall - for Max Faerberboeck's Anonyma - A Woman In Berlin which is now in principal photography, while Bavaria Film and Hofmann & Voges Entertainment are preparing feature film/two-parters for their Buddenbrooks and John Rabe projects, respectively.