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You are in: Home > 2008. 56th Edition  > Festival Diary > Spain eyes new german co-pro fund
Festival Diary » SALES OFFICE
Spain eyes new german co-pro fund
Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Teutonic film authorities have rolled into San Sebastian to talk-up today the jewel in Ger­many’s film financing crown, the Euros60 million ($85.1 mi­llion) German Federal Film Board (DFFF) fund.

Launched January 2007,the DFFF fund made headlines only this week when officials announced that Quentin Taran­tino’s “Inglorious Bastards”and Roman Polanski’s “Ghost” would both receive DFFF coin.

Yet Spanish producers have made little use of the fund, or of German co-productions in ge­neral. Hence the DFFF tub­thump.

“There are significant finan­cial tools in Germany; Spain will soon have new tax provisions. It’s a good moment to analyse opportunities,” said Avalon’s Stefan Schmitz, German Films’ delegate in Spain.

DFFF tabs grants at 20% of a co-production’s spend in Ger­many. Co-productions have to pass German cultural tests. But these are fairly undemanding.

“Payments to a Spanish crew on a co-production shoot in Germany count towards Ger­man spend,” says Schmitz. To qualify, films must have a Ger­man distribution contract, and a 30-plus copy release.

The DFFF Fund is “a very flexible production finance grant which allows producers to calculate benefits, and is very open to German co-produc­tions with outside countries,” said Andreas Pense, at Un­verzagtvonHave.

“A co-production in the Berlin-Brandenburg region can qualify at for both DFFF coin and Berlin-Brandenberg fi­nancing,”he added.

Organized by German Films and the Film Board, the DFFF presentation kicks off with an Pense introduction, then the panel: “Germany and Spain: the future of co-production?”

Panelists include Peter Sehr at Teuton shingle Partisan Films, who produced and co-di­rected Civil War drama, “The Anarchist’s Wife,” Helmut We­ber at Tradewind Pics, producer of “Das Orangenmadchen,” and Fabia Buenaventura, director general of Spanish producers assn. Fapae.

Also speaking: Zip Films Jor­di Rediu, who co-produced “Wife,” and Mariela Besiuevsky at Tornasol Films, co-producer of Ken Loach’s films.

Spain and Germany have seen higher-profile co-pros: “Perfume: the Story of a Mur­derer,” a Constantin/Filmax production, Ken Loach’s “Sweet Sixteen,”“Ae Fond Kiss,” and “The Wind that Shakes the Barley,”even “Basic Instinct 2".

But link-ups are rare: over 2002-07, only 24 German-Spanish co-productions, ac­cording to an ICIC study.

Current co-pro equity cei­lings make co-productions more difficult, said Rediu.“These have to be more flexible", he said.

Another challenge is the record for Spanish releases in Germany. “Perfume” grossed Euros38.8 million ($55.1 million) in Germany, a standout perf.

Few less high-profile films take over $700,000, though “Elsa and Fred” grossed $712,885, handled by Arsenal, an extraordinary figure for a seventysomethings romancer.


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