Commerzbank, the second biggest bank in Germany, is planning to double its commitment to the financing of film and TV production for the next four years.
The bank, which has financed such productions as Michael Haneke’s US remake of Funny Games, Julie Delpy’s The Countess and Reinhard Klooss’ 3D animation feature Tarzan, intends to increase its annual financing volume from the present $200m (€150m) to $400m (€300m) and the number of financed productions from 35 to as many as 80. This is expected to be equal to a doubling of the bank’s market share in this segment to 30% by the end of 2016.
These latest plans go hand in hand with the bank’s decision to establish a fourth media team in Munich alongside the existing ones operating in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.
“The German film industry has grown increasingly important internationally in recent years,” said Martin Fischedick, board member responsible for Corporate Banking.
“We are acting on the assumption of a growth of 2% to 3% per year. We want to stay abreast of this trend through our locations from Berlin to Munich – that is, from Babelsberg through to the Bavaria Film studios in Geiselgasteig.”
Producers welcome increased commitment
The increased commitment by Commerzbank - one of the only German banks still offering such services as bridging or gap financing - has been welcomed by the local production community.
Felix Zackor, producer and managing director of Munich-based Dreamtool Entertainment noted that, in his dealings with Commerzbank on the financing of the $10.6m (€8m) RTL production Heroes (Helden): “What struck us especially positively is the expert grasp of film financing.”
The 140-minute disaster TV movie, directed by Hansjörg Thurn and starring Christiane Paul, Heiner Lauterbach and Armin Rohde, has been co-produced by Austria’s epo-Film and is the most expensive production ever commissioned by German television.
RTL plans to broadcast Heroes at the end of 2013; Global Screen is handling international rights.