Germany unveils film prod'n tax-rebate system

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German culture minister Bernd Neumann has unveiled the particulars of the country's new tax-rebate system for film production, describing it as "a major breakthrough for the German film industry" (HR 10/19).

The system, which replaces the country's defunct film fund financing model, will see the government hand out €60 million ($75 million) a year for the next three years in the form of tax rebates.

Qualifying feature, documentary and animated films will be able to claim 16-20% of their production costs incurred in Germany.

To qualify, at least 25% of a films' total budget must be spent in Germany, or 20% for films budgeted at more than €20 million ($25 million). Films with a German expenditure of €15 million ($18.8 million) or more qualify immediately, regardless of the percentage of the total budget accounted for by the German spend.

Feature films budgeted at €1 million ($1.25 million), animation films costing €4 million ($5 million) or more and documentaries with a minimum budget of €200,000 ($250,000) can apply for the rebate.

Neumann said that projects will not have to pass muster with a state board or other "middle men" but instead will be judged based on a points system.

The total rebate is capped at €4 million ($5 million) per film, but producers can apply for rebates of up to €10 million ($12.5 million) if at least 35% of the movie's budget was spent in Germany or if the film qualifies by amassing at least two-thirds of the maximum possible "points" available for projects.

Complete details, as well as application forms, are available on the German culture ministry's Web site: www.kulturstaatsminister.de.
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