German incentive schemes generate record inward investment

The funds boosted inward investment on film and high-end TV series by a record €740m ($841m) in ’German spend’ last year.

By Martin Blaney 18 Feb 2022

German incentive schemes generate record inward investment
A E I O U - A Quick Alphabet of Love

Two of Germany’s leading production incentive programmes boosted inward investment on film and high-end TV series by a record €740m ($841m) in ’German spend’ last year. 

The 2021 figure is up on the €715m generated in 2019, despite pandemic-related restrictions on production.

The German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) and German Motion Picture Fund (GMPF) paid out a combined total of €147.4m in 2021, up €62.8m on 2020 and €11.9m more in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, generating an almost five-fold increase in the initial outlay.

’German spend’ refers to all costs incurred for production, including film-related goods and services, the fees of the German members of cast and crew, and foreign cast and crew for the period of filming in Germany.

The DFFF I funding strand - which awards grants of up to 20-25% of the German production costs to a project - ploughed €55m into 89 projects, including 66 feature films, 21 documentaries and two animated feature films.

The majority of the DFFF I backed projects were German, but it also supported 32 international projects, including Nicolette Krebitz’s German-French co-production A E I O U - A Quick Alphabet Of Love, Florian Sigl’s German-US fantasy musical The Magic Flute, Maximilian Erlenwein’s German-UK thriller The Dive and Frauke Finsterwalder’s historical drama Sisi und ich.

Meanwhile, the DFFF II funding strand awarded €42.4m in distributed grants to production service providers working on seven major international productions.

John Wick: Chapter 4 received the largest single sum, €19.8m, with grants also allocated to Bram Stoker adaptation The Last Voyage Of The Demeter, Liam Neeson action film Retribution and animation and visual effects for The Batman and Eternals.

Taken overall, the funding paid out by the two DFFF funding strands generated more than €465m in ’German spend’, five times the strands’ €97.4 budget for 2021.

Meanwhile, demand for support from the German Motion Picture Fund (GMPF) for high-end series with international market potential had grown at such a rate that the fund’s annual budget was increased from €30m to €50m last year

A total of 19 series were supported including Netflix’s 1899, the fourth series of Babylon Berlin, and Sky’s Munich Match.

Mystery drama 1899, which is being produced on a virtual sound stage at Studio Babelsberg, was awarded the highest single sum (€10m). The overall ’German spend’ by the GMPF-backed projects of around €276m was almost six times the fund’s total allocation (€50m) for 2021.

This article originally appeared on sister site ScreenDaily

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