Two versatile locations in Germany, both high on heritage, beckon filmmakers of all genres
Berlin and Brandenburg: While one is the capital of Germany, the other is one of the country’s 16 states. The latter is home to many towns and municipalities embellished with architecture of various styles. A long, rich and diversified history is what these two exotic locations have in store for any filmmaker.
From Antiquity to Romanesque to Jugendstil (German name for Art Nouveau), every city has a style of different architecture to boast. During the Nazi Revolution, to bequeath a new image, classical and monumental architecture gave way to modern style structures. So, a hint of every architectural design adorns these locations and pegs them as heritage sites.
Berlin: This city may not be contemporary like other world capitals but it is rich in culture. Apart from being the largest city in Germany, it was the third largest municipality in the world during the 1920s. The metropolis is recognised for its museums and facades. Due to this, it is an important location for filming. There are I53 museums in the city, of which Museum Island is the most famous of them all. The others include Altes Museum, Pergamon Museum and Gemäldegalerie. To experience Berlin, one cannot miss the nightlife and festivals it hosts.
Brandenburg: One of the 16 states of Germany, it surrounds Berlin but does not include it in its territorial boundary. Its capital is Potsdam. An urban district, it encompasses Frankfurt (Oder). This colourful town is different from the mammoth and the world-famous Frankfurt am Main. The Gothic town hall and post office building together build a picturesque panorama. What’s more – the palaces and Dutch Quarter in Potsdam are vibrant enough to be captured on reel.
Various other neighbourhoods in the state are home to impeccable houses and citadels which can form beautiful backdrops in any film. The production index of this region is versatile with a fraction of films from every genre being shot here. And all this comes wrapped with film funding provided by the film commission. Could producers ask for more?
The Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg supports films and film-related projects in the categories of script development, project development, package promotion, production, distribution and sales, and other activities. The sole authority, the managing director takes all final decisions. The managing director works with a team of advisers and together they handle individual projects and also advise the applicants. A meeting with an advisor is a mandatory part of the application process.
Since 1994, more than 2,500 film projects have obtained € 293 million in grants. The economic benefit of film promotion for the region is huge – and it can be expressed in figures. Each production that is shot in Berlin and/or Brandenburg entails investments, creates jobs and sustains employment. For every Euro spent on aid to moviemakers, an average of four Euros is injected into the local economy.
Only producers and distributors are eligible to submit applications for film support to Medienboard GmbH. The same holds for screenplay and material development aid. The applicant should have a permanent base in Berlin-Brandenburg or at least in Germany.
Applicant’s Investment Share
In each support category, the applicant must contribute at least 30 per cent of the production cost toward project financing. The producer’s own funding is typically defined as:
Type of Loan
To strengthen and sustain production capabilities, Medienboard normally provides loans which are repayable if a product performs satisfactorily.
100 per cent of the promotion funds must be spent in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.
As a rule, material development, project development and package promotion loans are to be repaid when production starts. Loans for production promotion are usually due within five years of cinema launch and are repaid from the proceeds. Distribution costs and distribution guarantees have priority over Medienboard reimbursement for the promotional loan.
Producers who have recovered their own investment may apply for a success loan for their next project. This project must also meet Medienboard’s quality criteria.