Germany's lucrative private investment film funds will soon be dismantled entirely, one of the territory's leading fund managers said Sept. 14.


COLOGNE, Germany (The Hollywood Reporter) -- Germany's lucrative private investment film funds will soon be dismantled entirely, one of the territory's leading fund managers said Sept. 14.

The film funds, which have pumped billions of dollars into Hollywood productions over the past few decades, will almost certainly be shut down, no matter who wins Germany's federal elections Sept. 18, said David Groenewold, head of film production fund GFP Medienfonds.

"None of (Germany's) political parties want media funds anymore, so in the future (following the election) they will no longer exist," Groenewold told a crowd of industry executives at the fund and finance trade fair in Cologne.

The funds are controversial because they give German investors juicy tax write-offs for investing in film projects, even if none of the money stays in Germany.

But Groenewold said closing the funds could provide a new opportunity for Germany's media industry if private investment capital can be redirected into local production.

"The German film industry has the potential to produce film and television projects with a volume of more than €500 million ($614 million) (financed by private investors)." Groenewold said. "€150 million for German films, €250 million for television productions and a further €150 million in international productions that can be enticed to shoot in Germany."

In order to capitalize on this potential, however, the German government has to introduce new tax incentives to make investment in local production attractive, Groenewold argued.

Groenewold's GFP Fund is one of the few German private investment film funds that have backed solely German-language productions. GFP-backed projects include last year's comedy hit "The Wanker" and the two-part miniseries "A Light in Dark Places."