Constantin Film and Warner Bros Germany were the most successful local production companies and distributors for German films at the German box office in 2022, according to the German Federal Film Board (FFA).
They have been dubbed ‘Industry Tigers’ by the FFA and means both companies receive the most in the FFA’s automatic ‘reference funding’ from the organisation, in line with the amount their German films grossed locally and were exposed at international film festivals in 2022.
Munich-based Constantin Film received EUR1.2m in production reference funding from the FFA for seven in-house productions, led by Bavarian comedy Guglhupfgeschwader, Sonke Wortmann’s two comedies Der Nachname and Contra, and Doris Dorrie’s Freibad.
In addition, the company received EUR354,000 in distribution ‘reference’ support based on the performance of these seven titles.
Warner Bros Germany received a total of EUR538,000 in distribution ‘reference’ support generated by the performance of 10 releases including actress-director Karoline Herfurth’s romantic comedy Wunderschon and Fatih Akin’s rapper biopic Rheingold.
In total, the FFA paid out EUR 8.5m reference production film funding to the German producers of 63 films, EUR 2.1m to the distributors of 60 films on release in 2022, and EUR494,000 to 56 German short films which had been successful at national and international film festivals in the past year.
Recipients included the German producers of Spencer and Triangle Of Sadness, as well as of Volker Schlondorff’s feature doc The Forest Maker, Franz Bohm’s Dear Future Children, and Florian Heinzen-Ziob’s Dancing Pina.
The automatic ‘reference’ funding has been an intergral part of the German Film Law (FFG) since 1968 and is administered by the Berlin-based FFA.
The funding is paid out to a producer if their German film (or a German co-production with another country) has reached at least 150,000 “reference points” in Germany within one year of theatrical release.
These “reference points” are calculated by the FFA according to a film’s commercial success and can be supplemented with additional points if a film is invited to screen in competition at certain international festivals or subsequently wins one of their top awards.
More points can be generated, for example, by being nominated for or winning a European Film Award, Golden Globe or Oscar.
The funding must be drawn down within three years of the grant’s allocation and is intended primarily for investment in a new film project. However, it can also be used for the development of new film projects or to boost the production company’s nominal capital.
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