RECORDS of DOCUMENTARY FILM SYMPOSIUM
held on May 3 - 9, 1997 in Jurmala, Latvia
European Documentary Film Symposiums Riga, 1999
DOCUMENTARY FILM. THE AGE GONE. AN AGE TO COME?
Bernd-Günther Nahm
Film Funds and film promotion in Germany

I will make it very short because I don't think it is so interesting with empty stomach to listen to regulations of German Film Funds. I have a few things to say and I would like to present the structure of our work. For those who are interested in details I brought a book. I will leave it here in Riga by Andris Rozenbergs from the National Film Centre. I think it's a good address as he knows languages and can work with this book. It describes an actual situation and it is called "Financing for film, radio, television and multimedia, national and international programmes".

The actual situation is that we have three main fund systems for films in Germany. The oldest one which started in the end of the 70s as the first organized Film Fund at that time. It started in Hamburg and in course of time it spread over the whole republic. I think you know that in Germany, at the Federal Republic, culture is a responsibility of the states, not of the government. So, all the states get their Cultural Film Funds, and we, in Schleswig Holstein, a very small and poor state, compared to some other states in Germany, managed to found a Cultural Film Fund in the end of the 1980s. But after this there was a change in the system, and besides the Cultural Film Fund we had the Economical Film Fund. You may apply for money in the Cultural Film Fund if you are living in the state or if you don't live there but want to make a film about what is happening in the state. And the Economical system would demand that you are making a film and you are getting the money from that area and you have to spend even more money in the area than you get. It might be difficult because if you ask for money in four - five places, I don't know how you can divide the money. This system worked and didn't work. It was a little complicated but the idea was to bring film industry to the special area, to bring producers to production in television stations. And later on, I am not so sure when exactly it started, the first and the biggest Film Fund was founded in Köln called Film Stiftung. That was a conglomerate of different systems. It has the money from television stations. This came from BDR and it means if you want to apply for it you have to have a place on TV, and you have to talk first to television and only then you can apply for the supplementary money. On the other hand it has the money coming from the state which may be given without any contact with television stations.

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