Film funding in Berlin

The area of Berlin-Brandenburg offers some interesting funding opportunities, that along with the Federal Film Funding which is a general German funding board, have attracted many international productions that have taken advantage of the monies, state of the art infrastructure and top notch personnel. Some of these productions include high profile movies such as “The Reader”, “Inglorious Bastards”, “V for Vendetta” and many others.

The main funding institution for Berlin is the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

This institution offers support in Script Development, Project Development, Project Packages, Production and Miscellaneous Activities.

The applicant must have a permanent base in Berlin-Brandenburg or at least in Germany and only producers or distribution companies are eligible to submit applications. This means that international co-productions need to have a production or producer partner in Germany in order to take advantage of these incentives.

In the Production category only feature length films commercially viable are eligible for funding and in special cases also short films. They specially prioritize new talents and international co-productions.

The applicant must contribute 30% of the production costs in any of such ways:

- Own capital including appropriate interest

- Third party capital including appropriate interest

- Own and third party services assessed at going market rates

- Guarantees and licenses

- Revolving funds and film prize money

Loans are also granted in occasions which are only repayable if the film is commercially successful.

Another funding opportunity which is not exclusive to Berlin is the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).

This fund is directed to feature length films with a production cost of one million euros, two hundred thousand euros for documentaries and two million euros for animated features. Producers or production companies must have a base in Germany and 25% of the capital must be spent in german territory or 20% if the budget is over twenty million euros. For German productions with a budget over fifteen million euros there is no minimum percentage.

The funding is normally about four million euros and could be extended up until ten million in special cases. Please visit their website for detailed requirements.

Additional to these two main funding institutions, there are constant opportunities from other state and private institutions to fund and audiovisual projects. The Berlin Senate´s Culture Department often gives out grants for special projects like the one for Female Filmmakers and the UFA Lab which encourages the development of projects in new media, like web series or interactive content.

Please watch this space for updates on new funding opportunities.

About xagudo

Xavier Agudo is a Berlin-based Venezuelan filmmaker.