German Heritage Sector Applauds Increased Digitization, Preservation Funding

Variety | 10/19/2019 | Ed Meza
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LYON, France — Germany’s film heritage sector is celebrating a new federal and state-funded initiative launching in January that will provide €10 million ($11.15 million) a year towards the digitization and preservation of feature films.

Rainer Rother, the artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, outlined the plan at a panel discussion at the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) in Lyon, France, as part of this year’s focus on Germany and the country’s heritage sector.

Rother - Head - Berlin - Film - Festival

Rother, who also serves as head of the Berlin Film Festival’s Retrospective sidebar, said the initiative, which is overseen by the German Federal Film Board (FFA), would initially run for 10 years and was based on three criteria: Exploitation interest from rights holders, such as producers or distributors; curatorial interest from film heritage institutions or film festivals; and preservation necessity in the case of damaged film material.

The new digitization support is limited to €40,000 ($44,557) per film. The FFA had previously offered digitization support of €15,000 ($16,740) per film and, since 2016, just €2 million ($2.23 million) a year in total for digitization and preservation.

Initiative - Förderprogramm - Filmerbe - FFE - Film

The initiative, known as the Förderprogramm Filmerbe (FFE), or Film Heritage Funding Program, covers 80% of digitization costs for commercial license holders or production companies but 100% when the applicant is a film heritage institution or other public organization.

Rother said all of the €10 million would be spent in the first year, with heritage film institutions, festivals and preservation efforts accounting for about €6 million ($6.7 million).

Deutsche - Kinemathek - Berlin - Films - Shorts

The Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin is expected to digitize and preserve around 25 feature-length films and 25 shorts, Rother noted, adding that the Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum in Frankfurt and the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation in Wiesbaden would achieve similar numbers.

Also taking part in the discussion were Fabio Quade, head of sales and distribution at the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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