Cinema film distribution; application for funding

If you, as a film distributor, release an artistically ambitious film in theaters, you can receive funding under certain conditions.



To be eligible to apply, you must

  • be a commercial film distributor. In exceptional cases, self-distribution is possible.
  • a place of residence or business in Germany or

have a branch in Germany with a residence or place of business in another EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

  • the film is artistically ambitious and meets the funding objectives of the BKM's Cultural Film Funding Guidelines;
  • the films must generally have a significant German cultural impact;
  • the minimum length for feature films and documentaries is 79 minutes, for children's films it is 59 minutes;
  • They must contribute at least 30 percent of the release costs;
  • You must observe the blocking periods under the German Film Subsidies Act (FFG);


You must submit the application for distribution funding online to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).

Apply for funding online:

  • Go to the website of the federal portal and fill out the application form electronically there.
    • For the online application, you will need your ELSTER organization certificate
  • Upload the required documents as a file (in PDF file formats, maximum 10 megabytes per file) and submit the application.

Further procedural steps:

  • The Distribution Funding Jury reviews the applications and proposes projects for funding.
  • After the funding meeting, the administrative processing of the funding takes place via the German Federal Film Board, which checks your application documents.
  • If the requirements for funding are met, you will receive a notification of funding from the German Federal Film Board.
  • The measure may not be started before receipt of the funding decision. In justified exceptional cases, an application for an early start of the measure can be submitted. Please use the form on the BKM website.

If the grant is awarded: after the first public screening of the film, you must send a copy to the Federal Archive, unless this obligation has already been fulfilled elsewhere.


The submission deadlines are published on the website of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) under the heading Deadlines.

Processing time

Approximately 12 weeks after the jury meeting, the Filmförderungsanstalt issues the grant notification. The duration of processing varies depending on the completeness of the documents.

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    • Online application (incl. viewing link)
    • Attachments to the application:
      • Financing plan
      • Calculation
      • Release concept
      • Rental contract
      • BAFA certificate
    • Confirmation of compliance with the lock-up periods


  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Antrag auf vorzeitigen Maßnahmenbeginn
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

Online procedures


  • There are no costs involved.


  • Action before the Administrative Court


Responsible for editing:Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien

  • Online transactions, Bavaria-wide
  • Online transactions, locally limited
  • Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Form, locally limited
  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, locally limited
  • Fees, Bavaria-wide
  • Fees, locally limited

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