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Apply for funding for the production of a feature film or documentary


Are you the producer of a planned feature film or documentary? Then you can apply for federal film funding to produce the film. The funding is awarded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).

Funding is available for the production of a full-length feature film or documentary of at least 79 minutes in length. The film must not yet be in production.

Grants of up to EUR 500,000 are awarded, in justified exceptional cases up to EUR 1,000,000.

As a rule, only feature films and documentaries with production costs of up to EUR 5,000,000 are eligible for funding. In justified exceptional cases, films with higher production costs can also be funded.

Among other things, your film must have a "significant German cultural impact" as defined by the BKM film funding guidelines. This includes, for example, the original German language of the film, the origin of the director, the headquarters of the production company as well as the financing and the first release in cinemas in Germany.

Projects that are to be financed with funds from universities cannot be funded, for example practice and graduation films.

If your project was not considered in a previous jury session, you can resubmit it once. You must then have developed it further in key points and explain in detail in a separate attachment what you have changed. A change is not necessary if there were formal reasons for the rejection that no longer exist.

Your film project as a producer can be funded if the following requirements are met:

  • It is a full-length feature film or documentary of at least 79 minutes in length that is intended and suitable for public exploitation in cinemas.
  • You have not yet started filming or animation work.
  • There is a significant German cultural influence within the meaning of the BKM Film Funding Guidelines. This may include
    • the original language of the film is German
    • the director is a German national or has permanent residence in Germany
    • have their permanent residence in Germany or are nationals of a country of the European Union, a contracting state of the European Economic Area or Switzerland
    • the financial participation of the producer or several production companies, each with its registered office or branch office in Germany, is
      • at least as large as the largest financial participation of a foreign manufacturing company involved in the production or
      • in the case of joint participation of several foreign manufacturing companies based in the same country, at least as large as the largest total participation of foreign manufacturers based in the same country.
    • the lead producer is domiciled in Germany or is a citizen of a country of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
  • The production costs of your film may not exceed EUR 5,000,000. Films with higher production costs can only be considered in justified exceptions.
  • Funding should not exceed a total of 80 percent of the estimated, recognized production costs.
  • They contribute an appropriate share of their own to the financing of the film, usually at least 5 percent.
  • They produce a final version of the film in German. In the case of documentaries, German subtitles are sufficient for theatrical release.
  • You produce a version with German subtitles for the hearing impaired and with German audio description for the visually impaired.
  • You comply with the statutory embargo periods after the first theatrical release in accordance with the German Film Subsidies Act and any supplementary guidelines.
  • Short description, maximum 1 DIN A4 page
  • for feature films: screenplay in German
  • for animated films: additional storyboard if necessary
  • for documentary films: treatment of 20-50 pages
  • Proof of closed rights chain
  • Company profile with details of the production company's previous films
  • Filmography of the director with
    • Details of nationality
    • Details of previous films
    • If applicable, viewing links, for example teasers or reference films
  • Cast list with residence details, including declarations of intent, if available
  • Cast list, including declarations of intent from important actors or protagonists, if available
  • Financing plan, including
    • Information on the status of the individual funding components
    • Information on the dates of the funding meetings
    • Information on the calculation of the personal contribution
  • Preliminary calculation of the production costs
  • Evaluation concept and, if applicable, distribution commitment
  • In the case of resubmission: explanations of the changes you have made to the project

free of charge

The current submission deadlines can be found on the BKM website. The application must be submitted to the federal portal by the submission deadline.

An appeal against the decision may be lodged with the Cologne Administrative Court within one month of notification.

You must apply for funding online via the federal portal.

Online application:

  • Go to the website of the federal portal verwaltung.bund.de.
  • Call up the online form. The online form will guide you step by step through the information and documents required.
  • Upload the required documents in PDF format, maximum 10 megabytes per file, and submit the application.
  • The BKM will check your application for formal admissibility.
  • The independent jury will review your submission and recommend a selection for funding by the BKM. You will receive a preliminary decision from the BKM as to whether your project has been recommended for funding or rejected.

If your project has been recommended for funding:

  • The German Federal Film Board (FFA) will take care of the funding process. You will be informed of further details in the BKM's preliminary funding decision.
  • You can only begin film production after the FFA's funding decision has become legally binding.
  • In order to receive the funding decision from the FFA, you must, among other things, secure funding for the film and submit the relevant evidence and any additional documents. You will receive the relevant information together with the preliminary decision from the BKM.
  • Once the film has been completed, you must submit a proof of use. This includes, for example, the final statement of costs and copies of the film.
  • Keep the BKM and the German Federal Film Board continuously informed about theatrical releases, festival participations, awards and nominations and other details.
  • After the film has been produced, you must submit a copy of the film to the Federal Archives and have it registered in accordance with the Federal Archives Act.

The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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