Full-length documentary film; application for funding for material development

If you are developing an artistically outstanding program-filling documentary film project, you can apply for material development funding under certain conditions.



Applications can be submitted by

  • Directors, provided they already have a program-length documentary film of at least 79 minutes that has been exploited in cinemas, at festivals or on television.

Further requirements:

  • You must have secured a production company for your project and be able to prove this with a corresponding letter of intent.


If you are financing the project yourself, you do not need a production company. In this case, an independent dramaturge is required to support your project. You must prove this with a corresponding letter of intent.


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

  • Go to the website of the Federal Portal and complete the application form online.
  • Upload the required documents and submit the application online.

Further procedural steps:

  • The BKM decides on the applications on the recommendation of the independent "Documentary Film Jury" (material development and production funding for documentary film projects).
  • You will receive notification from the BKM as to whether your application for funding has been approved.
  • The German Federal Film Board (FFA) takes over the administrative processing of the funding.
  • After completion of the material development, the "Documentary Film Jury" must approve the result of the funding.
  • You must inform the BKM at regular intervals about the further production process.
  • Once you have completed your project, you must submit a where-used list.

Special notes

There are no indications or special features.


As a rule, there are 3 submission deadlines per year. The current deadlines can be found on the website of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).


  • before the start of the project

Proof of use of the funds:

  • within 6 months of the end of the project

Processing time

8 to 10 weeks

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    Submit with application:

    • Synopsis, maximum one DIN A4 page
    • informative project outline with presentation
      • possible storylines and protagonists,
      • initial ideas for the visual and dramaturgical concept and
      • Objectives of the material development funding (approx. 10 pages)
    • Presentation of the time frame for the planned project
    • Realization concept after completion of the script development
    • Vita or filmography
      • of the director,
      • the producer and
      • of the dramaturgical consultant
    • Letter of intent
      • from a producer with a so-called producer's note or
      • an external dramaturgical consultant with a brief assessment of the project
    • if applicable, further expressions of interest from third parties such as broadcasters or distributors
    • detailed cost breakdown, broken down by:
      • Fees for authors in an appropriate amount
      • Costs for rights acquisition and legal advice
      • Costs for research and archive
      • Travel expenses and participation fees for project presentations at film trade fairs; both must be demonstrably directly related to the development of the material
      • Translation costs
      • Costs for the creation of a teaser or trailer
      • Fees for dramaturgical advice
      • Costs for the creation of concepts and materials for marketing and exploitation
    • Declaration of rights to the material; you may also have to provide proof of personal rights or rights to existing works
    • Explanation in the event of resubmission and status of previous submissions for other funding, if applicable

Online procedures


  • There are no costs.


  • 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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