German prod'n fund relaxes rules

More of a production's costs to be included

BERLIN -- Germany's production fund, the DFFF, has tweaked its guidelines, allowing more of a production's costs to be considered "German spend" and thus qualify for DFFF funding.

Under the new regulations, script costs can be included in German spend calculations and productions can submit out-of-country costs -- for German crew, for example, for up to 40 (previously 30) shooting days.

The DFFF has also lowered the barrier for animated features, so that animated films with a budget of €2 million ($2.8 million) or more can apply. The previous budget cut off was €3 million ($4.2 million).

The DFFF requires submitted projects to present a distribution deal with a reputable distributor in order to qualify for funding. The new guidelines will make that easier. Previously, a distributor had to have released at least three films in Germany, each with a minimum of 15 copies, over the past 12 months. That has now been extended to 24 months.

The DFFF will provide cash equivalent of up to 20% of a film's German spend. "Inglourious Basterds," "The Last Station" and "The White Ribbon" are some of the recent projects that have benefited from the fund's largesse.
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