In 1967, the Film Funding Act created the first legal basis for federal film funding. This act, which came into force in 1968, already contained essential elements of the law in force today, such as the establishment of the Film Promotion Agency, reference film promotion, short film promotion, support for cinema operators and the collection of a film levy. The producers of subsidised films were obliged to transfer the television exploitation rights to the Film Promotion Agency. The last amendment entered into force on the 1st of January 2017. Among other things, it provides for a gender-equitable composition of the bodies, securing a high level of the levy, more efficient structuring of funding, increased funding for screenplay promotion, greater remuneration for the performance of producers and better promotion of short films, as well as improving the participation of people with disabilities in the cinematic experience as a community.
The German Federal Film Board (Filmförderungsanstalt FFA) is a federal agency under public law. It is Germany’s national film promotion agency and supports all aspects of German film. In addition to its task as a funding body, it is also the organisation of central service providers for the German film industry. It funds cinema films in all phases of creation and exploitation: from script development and production to distribution, sales and video. Additional funds are used to promote cinemas, preserve the film heritage, promote the perception and distribution of German films abroad and to provide film education. In addition, the FFA has a mandate to support cooperation between the film industry and television stations to strengthen German cinema. Furthermore, the FFAregularly collects, analyses and publishes the most important market data of film, cinema and video industry in Germany. The FFA’s budget for 2018 was 78.7 million EUR. The funding is financed by the collection of the film levy. The tax is levied on users of cinema films, including cinemas, companies in the video industry including providers of video-on-demand services, television broadcasters and marketers of Pay-Tv programmes.
In addition, the FFA administratively oversees the film funding of film projects supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM). These include the German Film Fund (DFFF), the German Motion Picture Fund (GMPF) and the handling of project funding for long and short films.
The funding instruments also include numerous prizes (e.g. “German Film Prize”, “German Screenplay Prize” and “German Short Film Award”). In addition, film festivals and symposia (e.g. “The Berlin International Film Festival”), international film productions (through bilateral film agreements), as well as institutions dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the cultural heritage of film (e.g. Foundation German Cinematheque in Berlin and the German Film Institute in Frankfurt am Main) are also supported by the the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).
The FFA’s cinema support aims to strengthen and maintain the nationwide and diverse cinema structure and its quality in both urban and rural regions. There is funding according to the project principle and funding according to the reference principle. Funding is granted, among other things, for modernisation, the creation of barrier-free access, for measures to strengthen competitiveness and for media pedagogical support.
In 2019, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media initiated an emergency aid programme of EUR 5 million for the promotion of cinemas in rural areas, with which cinemas in towns with up to 25,000 inhabitants will be supported with investments. A new Future Cinema Programme (17 million EUR) is planned for 2020.
Deutsche Welle is the foreign broadcaster of the Federal Republic of Germany and a member of Consortium of public broadcasters in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ARD). It is broadcast in around 30 languages. Today, Deutsche Welle works trimedially: television (DW-TV), radio and internet. In accordance with § 4 of the Deutsche Welle Law, the task of Deutsche Welle is to make Germany understandable as a cultural nation that has grown up in Europe and as a free democratic constitutional state – and to promote understanding and exchange between cultures and peoples. This makes it one of the pillars of the Federal Republic of Germany’s foreign cultural policy. Deutsche Welle is largely funded by tax money from the federal budget. It receives its subsidy through the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (2019: 365 million EUR). Approximately 3,000 employees from 60 nations work at the headquarters in Bonn and the Berlin location. In 2018 Deutsche Welle celebrated its 65th anniversary.
According to the current monitoring report Cultural and Creative Industries 2019, there were 17,808 companies in the broadcasting industry in 2018 (compared to 17,853 in 2009). The turnover in 2018 was 10.4 billion EUR (2009: 7.4 billion EUR). In 2018, 43,000 people were employed in the broadcasting sector (2009: 39,000), 25,000 of whom were subject to social insurance contributions (2009: 21,000). Gross value added in the broadcasting industry amounted to 7.7 billion euros in 2018 (2009: 6.3 billion EUR). The largest share of companies was made up of 251 radio broadcasters (2009: 266). Within the broadcasting industry, the largest turnover of 8.1 billion EUR was achieved by television broadcasters.