September 28 marked a press conference at Warsaw’s Kultura cinema to launch the Polish-German Film Fund. The agreement bringing the Fund into existence was signed at the conference by General Director of the Polish Film Institute Agnieszka Odorowicz, head of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg Kirsten Niehuus, and head of Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung (MDM) Manfred Schmidt.

Ten Years of Cooperation

The Polish Film Institute, Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung (MDM) and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg have been cooperating for ten years. Established in 2005, the Polish-German Co-Development Fund was aimed at supporting development of joint film projects. In order to strengthen relations and increase the number of Polish-German co-productions, the heads of the three partner organizations Agnieszka Odorowicz, Kirsten Niehuus and Manfred Schmidt jointly decided to increase funding and broaden the Fund’s scope to include support for film production.

“After ten years of successful cooperation, we have decided to broaden the scope of our joint activities. We have designed this Fund to accommodate the different regulations in our respective organizations. We have decided it should be a type of Polish-German Eurimages, serving as the final source of financing for producers who have taken on a shared project,” said General Director of the Polish Film Institute Agnieszka Odorowicz at the press conference.

“When I was on the jury in Gdynia in 2013, I was totally impressed by the young Polish film scene. It’s still my fantasy, my imagination that those young generations could do more things together. That doesn’t exclude the older generation. But I think we’re now in a completely different landscape. We have new topics. We want to give the basis for producing together”, said Kirsten Niehuus, head of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

“Looking over the last ten years at the Polish film landscape, it’s really amazing what happened. On the other hand, the landscape in Germany has also changed. I hope that this new layer will not only help especially younger talents to work together to make their dreams come true, but will also improve the way that the industry works,” said Manfred Schmidt, head of Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung (MDM).

New Opportunities

The new Polish-German Film Fund will provide financing for project development, as well as for production of low-budget films, including film debuts and films that present an innovative approach to narration. Beginning in 2016, the Polish-German Fund will have an annual budget of 300,000 euros. Project development will be eligible for financing of up to 70,000 euros, while the maximum amount of financing for international co-productions will be set at 150,000 euros. Polish-German co-productions with higher budgets will be eligible for seeking funding within the standard support programmes of participating film funds.

Applications are accepted from Polish producers together with at least one German producer based in Mitteldeutschland or Berlin/Brandenburg. Projects should have commercial potential aimed for a theatrical release, as well as other optional methods of distribution using new media in Poland, Germany, and third countries.

The application procedure and application forms will soon be available on the respective websites of the Polish Film Institute, MDM and Medienboard BB. The Polish-German Film Fund will have an expected two decision panel sessions per year. The application deadline for the first round has been set at December 8, 2015.

“This Fund is intended mostly for films that are considered low-budget by European standards. Each of the three participating parties will invest no less than 100,000 euros. However, should a higher number of projects be to our liking, or one particular project that exceeds the budget limits, we will be open to change. Applications will be open to producers who have secured a large portion of the budget. The subsidy from the Polish-German Film Fund does not exclude producers from seeking funding through our standard support programmes. It is not a problem for a producer to receive funding from the Polish Film Institute and then, at the final stage, to receive funding from the Polish-German Film Fund”, said Agnieszka Odorowicz.

For further details about the Polish-German Film Fund please contact Robert Baliński:

Translated by Karolina Kołtun