German media funds have said they are willing to spend a set amount of the money they raise each year on films shooting in Germany.
The move, announced by Verband Deutscher Medienfonds (VDM), the interest group founded last year by 18 of Germany's private media funds, is expected to bolster Germany's attractiveness as a production location for local and international shoots.
A VDM statement stressed, however, that spend should only be calculated from a fund's overall annual volume rather than apply to single projects. It also noted that any German spend agreement "must not be allowed to lead to discrimination against European or US-American co-production partners and other international participants on projects."
In addition, the interest group argued that "the indiscriminate adoption of Canadian or English models" appeared "unsuitable and too complicated."
PWC Veltins' Christof Schmidt, VDM's tax consultant, told Screen Daily that the interest group has commissioned Albert Scharf, former director-general of Bavarian Broadcasting and president of the European Broadcasting Union, to prepare a legal report on the general workability of a German spend agreement for publication next month.
VDM is also working on a comparitive study on international tax-oriented film financing systems to appear at the same time.
Schmidt explained that VDM would await these reports before moving on to the next stage of making specific commitments regarding concrete "spends". "We have to see what is feasible and how much money one can actually spend in Germany", he said.