Germany, Spain look to team for co-production

Ultimate goal said to be establishing a film fund

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain -- Representatives from the German and Spanish film industries met here during the weekend to discuss how to boost co-productions between their two countries.

Despite having two of the largest film industries in Europe, the Teutonic-Iberian co-production remains a rare beast. Last year there were just two: the Spanish Civil War drama "The Anarchist's Wife" from Peter Sehr and Marie Noelle and the Norwegian-Spanish-German co-production "Das Orangenmadchen."

This initial meet was to highlight opportunities for producers looking to tap funding in both territories.

"Unlike some countries, neither Spain nor Germany ties subsidies and film funding to a particular language or requires that the entire production be shot in a certain region," said Peter Dinges, head of the FFA, Germany's federal film commission. "So there's nothing standing in the way (of more Spanish-German co-productions). People just have to do it."

The ultimate goal, according to Stefan Schmitz of Madrid's Avalon productions, is to set up a German-Spanish film fund to target such cross-border cooperation. But first, Schmitz said, German and Spanish producers have to form a joint group to lobby their respective governments. He hopes the initial framework for such a group can be in place by the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.