Constantin Film has been named by the German Federal Film Board (FFA) as the nation’s most successful producer and distributor of German films for the eighth consecutive year.

The Munich-based producer-distributor was allocated a total of just over $2.56m (€2m) “reference” funding for the company to invest in future film projects and theatrical campaigns.

Constantin attracted $1.86m (€1.45m) in production “reference” funding from the release of five films during 2012, including the year’s most popular German film Türkisch für Anfänger, and distribution “reference” support of $761,000 (€593,000), based on the performance of 13 releases.

X Filme Creative Pool, producer of Cloud Atlas and co-producer of Michael Haneke’s Oscar-winning Amour, received the second highest amount of production “reference” funding ($1.1m/€ 865,000), while the Constantin Film subsidiary Rat Pack Filmproduktion followed in third place with $893,000 (€696,000) based on the performance of such films as Türkisch für Anfänger and Victor And The Secret Of Crocodile Mansion.

In the distribution category, Constantin was followed by Warner Bros Entertainment ($441,000/€344,000 for six films) and Universum Film ($327,000/€255,000 for six films).

In total, the FFA paid out $20.8m (€ 16.25m) “reference funding” to the commercially and artistically most successful German producers/distributors in 2012.

The automatic “reference” funding is paid out by the FFA to a producer if their German film (or a German co-production with another country) has reached at least 150,000 “reference points” in Germany within one year of the theatrical release.

These “points” are calculated according to commercial success and invitations to and awards at certain film festivals.

Thus, for example, 50,000 points are awarded for an invitation to screen in competition at Locarno, Rotterdam or San Sebastian, but 150,000 points could be earned if the film subsequently wins the Golden Leopard, Tiger Award or the Golden Shell.

Moreover, 150,000 points are allocated for a nomination to the Golden Globes or Oscars, and winning one of these trophies – or a Golden Palm, Golden Bear or Golden Lion – would bring 300,000 points for a film’s “reference” funding account.

However, a film must reach at least 50,000 admissions in German cinemas for any of these additional points to be considered.

The FFA reported, not surprisingly, that Haneke’s Amour was the film which had the most festival invitations and awards in 2012, followed by Christian Petzold’s Berlinale competition film Barbara.

Constantin partners with Ascot Elite

The news from the FFA came less than a week after Constantin had announced that it will be working with the leading Swiss independent distributor Ascot Elite to distribute future releases of DreamWorks Studios in Switzerland.

This arrangement comes after the German distributor entered a strategic alliance in September 2012 with DreamWorks for Germany, Austria and Switzerland for all films that have begun principal photography on or before 31 December, 2016.

The first release by Constantin under this deal is set to be the remake of Canadian sperm donor comedy Starbuck.

New German arthouse player

Husband and wife Michael and Müge Hehl have founded a new distribution outfit temperclay production & distribution to handle their own feature fiction and documentary projects as well as international arthouse and independent titles.

The Munich-based company’s first release will be Michael Hehl’s own documentary production Hasret – Desire on 18 April about the relationship between his wife and her mother in Turkey.

The second release – planned for the end of May – is Greek director Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan Vogel’s Wasted Youth which was Rotterdam’s opening film in 2011.