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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for certification or a certificate of origin under the Film Industry Support Act

Description

If you are involved in the production and distribution of German cinematographic works, you can apply to the German Federal Film Board (FFA) for funding. In order to do so, you need certification under the Film Industry Support Act (FFG) .
You should apply for certification well in advance, at least two months before shooting starts for international co-productions or international co-financing, and submit it to the FFA with your funding application.

The certification confirms that your film meets the requirements of the FFG for recognition as a German film. The FFA will decide whether you qualify for funding and, if so, how much.

If you intend to screen your film abroad, you may be required to present a certificate of origin there. You must apply to the BAFA for a certificate of origin. This confirms that your film is a German film as defined in the FFG.

The same conditions apply to both certification and certificates of origin. If you need certification and a certificate of origin, you can apply for both at the same time using the same application form.

Note:
the FFG only applies to cinematographic works. As a rule, therefore, certification is only issued for German cinematographic works.

Applications are accepted from film producers

  • who are resident or established in Germany or
  • who have a branch in Germany,
    • if they are residents of or established in another Member State of the European Union,
    • a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or
    • Switzerland.

Your film must meet the following requirements of the FFG in order to be recognised as a German film:

  • the director of your film must
    • be German,
    • work in the German culture industry or
    • be a national of another Member State of the European Union,
    • a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or
    • Switzerland.
  • The final version of feature length films must be shot or dubbed in German. If your film is a short film, one final version of the film must have cinema-compatible subtitles.
  • Your film must address cultural, historical or social issues.
  • For its world première, your film must be shown either
    • in German in Germany,
    • as a German entry in the main event, or
    • at a special screening at a festival.
  • Your film must meet at least two of the cultural criteria.
  • If it is shot in a studio, you must use studios and production engineering and post production technical service providers established in
    • Germany,
    • another Member State of the European Union,
    • a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or
    • Switzerland.

Information for international co-productions:
Where, in the case of a Community production
at least one of the producers is established or resident outside Germany, recognition must have been obtained based on

  • the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production or
  • a bilateral or multilateral international agreement.

Where a bilateral or multilateral agreement does not exist or no agreement applies, the German producer must have invested considerably more than the foreign investors and there must have been an appropriate level of artistic and technical participation. If your film has been funded mainly by German investors, it must be shown for its world première in German in Germany or as a German entry at a festival. It must also meet at least two of the cultural criteria. This also applies where it is recognised under a bilateral or multilateral agreement.

  • List of cultural criteria
  • Co-production contract(s)
  • Proof of cinema screening format
  • Proof of world première
  • Financing plan
  • Cast and crew list
  • You can also check the notes on how to complete the form to see if any further documents are required

An application for certification must be filed well in advance, at least two months before shooting starts for international co-productions or international co-financing.

  • Approximately 10 days, provided the application is complete.

Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle (Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control)
Unit 412 – Support for Job Training Centres, Film
Frankfurter Strasse 29-35
65760 Eschborn

General:
06196 9082128

German solo and co-productions
Telephone: 06196 9082856

International co-productions
Telephone: 06196 9082194

Office hours:
Monday to Thursday: 8.30 to 16.00
Friday: 8.30 to 15.00

Are there forms to fill in? Yes
Can I do it online? No
Do I need to apply in writing? Yes
Do I need to attend in person? No

You can apply for certification or a certificate of origin in writing:

  • Download the application form from the BAFA website. Complete it in full.
  • Then send it, together with the requested documents (by post only), to the relevant department of the BAFA.
  • As soon as you have provided all the information and documents required, the BAFA will consider your application.
  • Once it has been checked and approved, you will receive the certification or the certificate of origin by post.
  • If you do not meet the requirements, you will receive a fully reasoned rejection notification.
    • You can lodge an objection to that notification.
    • If the rejection is upheld following your objection, you will receive a fully reasoned objection dismissal notification.
    • You can lodge an appeal against the objection dismissal notification with the Administrative Court.

Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle (Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control)

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