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Heil Hamburg!

An important economic centre with international flavour, the second-largest city in Germany offers architectural marvels that are apt for many genres of film

Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany after Berlin, is beautifully decorated by Neo-Renaissance and contemporary buildings. Although there are not many skyscrapers, it is the 2,300 bridges crossing the rivers, streams and canals within the city limits that capture your attention. Also, the traditional churches are impressive landmarks.

Hamburg, located in the north of Germany along with the State of Schleswig-Holstein, are noteworthy destinations. In Hamburg city, per se, discover gigantic ocean liners at the port of Hamburg (ninth largest in the world), the cool breeze at the River Elbe, sailboats at River Alster, and striking facades and green surroundings. The Speicherstadt and the Binnenalster (Inner Alster Lake) are enormously attractive at night. Theatres, museums, parks and gardens, city hall, St Michaelis church and shopping arcades complete the list.

The State of Schleswig-Holstein is the northern most state of Germany and combines Danish and German culture, which can be viewed through its castles and manors. While Kiel is the capital, another notable city is Lübeck, which is also a world heritage site. The main sights in Kiel include the Opera House, Möltenort and the Holstenstraße, one of the longest shopping streets in Germany.

And thanks to the Film Commission of Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH), producers can avail various types of funding to shoot at these impressive settings.


As a general rule, in the city of Hamburg and the State Schleswig-Holstein, shooting permits are involved when equipment is put up and third parties are affected. Permits for shooting on public streets and the blocking of parking areas for production vehicles are issued by the respective police stations.

Permits for public footpaths, parks and other public grounds are issued by the civil engineering authorities of the different districts. The permissions are issued for the laying of cables, installation of tracks, dollies, lighting equipment, camera cranes and other technical equipment and for the partial or entire blocking off of areas.

Train stations and shopping malls are run by private business and it is necessary to get permissions from the respective managers.


Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein supports the production and exploitation of films of all genres and any length, national or international, from the development of the script to the film’s screening in the cinema or its broadcast on television.

Applications can be submitted for the following areas:

• Script Funding

• Project Development

• Production Support

• Sales and Distribution Support

• Screening and Film Presentation Support (cinema)

• Further Funding (Animated films)

The aim is to bring interesting co-productions to Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, to strengthen producers from the region as potential co-production partners for international projects and to continue existing cooperation.

Funding for Script Funding, Project Development, Production Support, as well as Sales and Distribution Support is supplied in the form of conditionally repayable loans. The means are allocated, in accordance with the principles laid down in the funding guidelines, by two different selection committees. The responsibilities of the committees are determined by the expected amount of negative cost. Committee 1 is responsible for all productions with a negative cost of more than € 800,000. Applications for productions with a negative cost of less than € 800,000 are decided on by Committee 2.

The committees reach their decision about eight weeks after the application deadline. The results are published on the FFHSH website under the heading ‘funding recipients’.

Applications for Subtitling, Basic Advertising, Special Measures and Backup Copies are not bound to the committees.

In addition to the FFHSH guidelines, an annual € 450,000 are allocated to NDR commissions and co-productions. These are presented to production companies seated in Schleswig-Holstein as grants in accordance with the hitherto existing guidelines of MSH – Society for the Promotion of Audiovisual Works in Schleswig-Holstein, in order to strengthen Schleswig-Holstein as a film location.

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