Constantin Film has been named by the German Federal Film Board (FFA) as the nation’s top producer of German films for the ninth consecutive year in 2013 and the top distributor for the tenth consecutive year.

The Munich-based producer-distributor was allocated around €2.2m ($3m) “reference funding” in total by the FFA to invest in future film projects and theatrical campaigns.

The company attracted €1.6m ($2.2m) production “reference” funding based on the box office of such releases as Bora Dagtekin’s comedy Fack Ju Göhte (Suck Me Shakespeer) which was seen by more than 5.8 million cinemagoers last year, as well as Sherry Hormann’s 3096 Tage about the abduction of Natascha Kampusch, and the comedy Dampfnudelblues.

In addition, eight successful releases including Fack Ju Göhte, Fünf Freunde 2, Ostwind and Dampfnudelblues earnt Constantin’s distribution arm €633,000 ($875,000) in distribution “reference” support. 

Constantin Film subsidiary Rat Pack Filmproduktion, who was the main producer of  Fack Ju Göhte, received the second highest production “reference” of €1m ($1.4m), followed by UFA Cinema, the producer of Philip Stölzl’s English-language Noah Gordon adaptation Der Medicus (The Physician) with €830,000 ($1.15m).

In total, the FFA paid out €15.8m ($21.8m) to the commercially and artistically most successful German producers and distributors of 2013.

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

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

Thus, films like Haneke’s Amour, the documentary More Than Honey, Jan-Ole Gerster’s Oh Boy and Wintertochter could boost their lower admission figures with the points earnt from the many prizes and festival invitations, while commercial titles like Kokowääh 2, Schlussmacher and Frau Ella generated their reference points only from the box-office success.

Lola nominations

Constantin also figures high in the nominations for this year’s German Film Awards - aka Lolas - which will be presented in Berlin in a gala ceremony on May 9.

Last year’s highest grossing film, Fack Ju Göhte, has been nominated for Best Feature Film, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for both Katja Riemann and Jella Haase.

Katja von Garnier’s Ostwind - released by Constantin last year - has been nominated in the category for Best Children’s Film and Best Film Score, and Sherry Hormann’s 3096 Tage for Best Sound.

However, Austrian film-maker Andreas Prochaska’s Das finstere Tal, which had its premiere during February’s Berlinale and has attracted just over 81,000 cinema-goers in Germany so far, is this year’s favourite to win with nine nominations, ranging from Best Feature Film and Best Direction through Best Supporting Actor (Tobias Moretti) to Best Cinematography and Best Sound - although no nomination for lead actor Sam Riley.

Other strong titles with six and five nominations respectively are veteran director Edgar Reitz’s Die andere Heimat and Frauke Finsterwalder’s feature debut Finsterworld.

Moreover, Jakob Lass’ Love Steaks - which is one of his practice films during studies at the University of Film & Television in Babelsberg - is one of the six titles to be nominated in the category of Best Feature Film and receives a nomination premium of €250,000 to be invested in a future project.