Guidelines for Sponsorship, Support and Funding

    1. The DEFA Foundation Mission

    Based on its statute, the mission of the DEFA Foundation is

    • to preserve the films of DEFA, the former East German film studios, and oversee their use for the public good,
    • to support and sponsor German film culture and film art.

    Grant applications have to be in keeping with the Foundation’s mission.

    The DEFA Foundation supports:

    • projects of scholarly and journalistic work on DEFA films, and the preparation and utilization of the films;
    • work that supports German film culture and new film projects;
    • cooperation with national and international cultural institutions, exhibitions, symposia, and other cultural and artistic events related to East German cinema;
    • educational activities in the fields of film culture and film art; 
    • cinematographic and museum projects;
    • dissertations (12 months maximum funding).

    2. General Policies

    2.1. Funding is allocated as a stipend or project grant. Stipends are granted for up to and not longer than 12 months.

    2.2. The DEFA Foundation particularly supports the collaboration between entities of civil law and non-profit organizations that are involved in German film culture and film art. An appropriate share of funding should be submitted by a third party.

    2.3. A portion of funding is earmarked for the support of projects of national importance.

    2.4. Foundation grants can only be used for purposes in keeping with its statute. They may not support a person or institution whose project is not in accordance with the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation may not favor any person or institution with disproportionately high funding.

    2.5. No legal claims for receiving funding are in existence.

    2.6. The DEFA Foundation is obliged to announce the projects that will be funded publicly.

    2.7. The DEFA Foundation is allowed to use sponsored journalistic or scholarly works completely or in parts for free.

    2.8. The applicant is obliged to acknowledge Foundation support on invitations, press releases, publications, or similar documents connected with sponsored projects as follows: Sponsored by the DEFA Foundation. As agreed upon by the DEFA Foundation this wording must also appear in the credits of any supported film.

    2.9. The DEFA Foundation is to receive one copy of each published document.

    3. Eligibility

    3.1. Project grants will be provided pro rata to the total costs of a project. The complete financing of the project has to be assured.

    3.2. The DEFA Foundation sponsors projects proposed by private persons, groups of persons, and institutions in Germany and abroad. Stipend applications must not be submitted by more than two persons.

    3.3. Funding will primarily be allocated to entities of civil law and tax-advantaged entities that are active in the new federal states of Germany.

    3.4. The DEFA Foundation does not offer institutional funding; that means it does not support the infrastructure or day-to-day functioning of institutions, be they new or already-existing.

    3.5. Funding will not be granted for: 

    • production of films
    • preliminaries for production of films
    • technical subtitling of films;
    • development of scripts;
    • film distribution activities;
    • purchases of space or equipment;
    • people who are still in training or who have not yet finished their education;
    • the costs of technical reproduction (printing costs, production costs, copying costs etc.);
    • commercial, for-profit projects;
    • the acquisition of film rights or partial film rights;
    • projects that were already started or finished before the selection committee made its funding decision
    • final year films.

    4. Selection Committee

    4.1. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applications.  The Committee acts on behalf of the Foundation’s Advisory Council and makes decisions about the allocation of funding based on the Foundation’s statute.

    4.2. The Selection Committee consists of five elected members.

    4.3. The Foundation’s Advisory Council decides on policies regarding allowable uses of funding. The Executive Board and Selection Committee develop their guidelines based on these policies.

    4.4. The Selection Committee schedules its meetings in so that funding decisions may be made within a reasonable timeframe.

    4.5. The Selection Committee elects a chairman and sets up rules of internal procedure.

    4.6. The Selection Committee holds its meetings in private.

    4.7. Awards of the Selection Committee are decided by a majority vote. The Committee need not explain or justify its decisions. The Executive Board will inform applicants of decisions in writing. If the granted amount differs from the requested amount, the applicant must decide whether to accept the Foundation’s offer; to do so, the applicant must if necessary modify the proposed project and budget plan.

    4.8. The same application may not be submitted twice within a 12-month period.

    4.9. In special cases, the Selection Committee may make exceptions for projects that seem particularly enriching in terms of the Foundation’s mission.

    5. Application

    5.1. How to Apply:

    The Grant applications have to be submitted in German.

    Grant applications can be submitted almost informally. The applications have to be submitted in septuplicate (1 original document, 6 copies), except of statutes, declarations of tax-exemption, which are needed for project grant, and additional materials. The number of pages should not be higher than ten pages.

    All applications for grants must include a filled out cover sheet. (see above).

    Each applicant can submit only one application per decision meeting of the selection committee.

    An application for stipends does not have to include a financial budget, only a short description of the use of the funding.

    Please do not tack or bind the application and do not use a folder. Only use a paperclip to fix it.

    Please number the pages of the application.

    Applications for project funding must include

    • basic information of the applicant (address, phone, fax, email, bank account information);
    • a detailed description of the project

    Institutions are additionally required to submit:

    • a project budget, with information on all sources of financing (a statement of revenue and expenses);
    • a time line;
    • a declaration of tax-exemption;
    • a brief description of the institution.

    Private persons are additionally required to submit:

    • information on current professional activity and on previous cultural, artistic, scholarly, and journalistic activities.

    Applications for stipends must include:

    • personal data (address, phone, fax, email, bank account information);
    • information on current professional activity and on previous cultural, artistic, scholarly, and journalistic activities;
    • a project description;
    • a description of the intended use of the funding;
    • the amount of funding requested (max. 12,000 euros for one year);
    • information on other applications for support submitted or already granted;

    a statement by the university is required if the stipend will be used in order to receive an academic degree. 

    Any further materials that significantly and clearly convey the character, as well as the importance of the proposed project – for example, visual and/or audio documents – can be enclosed with the application. The inclusion of such materials is voluntary and should be directly linked to the proposed project.

    Letter of intent from film productions or broadcast stations can also be enclosed with the application.

    5.2. Application Deadlines

    The deadlines for the submission of applications are March 31 and September 30. Business hours are from Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 17:00. If the appointed date is on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the deadline will be on the last working day within the week. The original application must be received at the DEFA Foundation office on either of these dates. 

    Applications that are not received in time will not be considered. Late applications may be re-submitted for the next deadline.

    The DEFA Foundation strongly recommends that applicants submit applications with enough time to allow for correcting anything obscure in terms of form and content.

    5.3. Review of Application

    The DEFA Foundation will review the application to check that it was received in time and corresponds to application guidelines.

    The applicant will then receive a confirmation of receipt and registration of the application from the DEFA Foundation.

    A private consultation about the application is possible if an appointment is made far in advance of the application deadline.

    6. Use of Funds

    6.1 Proof of the proper use of funds

    A final budgetary statement should be prepared based on the budget calculation submitted by the applicant. If the funding was granted for a different amount than requested, the statement must be submitted in accordance with the modified budget calculation.

    Use of funds must be documented with receipts, bills and/or contracts. If the applicant provides copies, he/she must inform the Foundation who is responsible for the originals and their location, as well as who prepared the final budgetary statement for the project.

    In cases in which the DEFA Foundation only provided partial support for a project, a statement of the entire project’s expenses and income must accompany the budgetary statement that documents the use of funds received from the Foundation. If any income is generated by selling tickets, the number of visitors must also be reported.

    The final report must be submitted to the DEFA Foundation no later than 3 months after finishing the project. The last installment of project support will be transferred as soon as the final report – including the final budgetary statement – has been received and approved by the DEFA Foundation.

    If the funded project extends over a period of 12 months, an interim report must be provided to the Foundation after the first six months.

    Depending on the kind of project, the final report must include:

    • a description of how the project evolved through time, including mention of both problematic and supportive developments;
    • a description and evaluation of the results, and a comparison of these results with original project goals.

    The DEFA Foundation must be informed immediately if serious problems arise that interfere with the original goals to the extent that they may change the original purposes of the project.

    6.2 Approval of fund use

    For projects which the DEFA Foundation funded only in part, that have the approval of another recognized authority with respect to the legitimate use of all project funds, the DEFA Foundation may waive the final statement for funds specifically received from the Foundation. Notice of the approval of the final budgetary statement by the other authority must be provided to the DEFA Foundation within a reasonable period of time.

    The DEFA Foundation reserves the right to see original invoices and receipts or other supporting documentation for the final budgetary statement.

    The DEFA Foundation retains a proportional part of the project support, which is paid out, when a correct financial report of the applicant has been received.

    If multiple corrections are necessary the costs can be charged to the applicants account.

    6.3 Repayment of funds

    The grant holder has to guarantee that total funding received from the DEFA Foundation and third parties does not exceed 100 % of the costs of the funded project. In cases where funding has exceeded costs, the DEFA Foundation may claim the repayment of funds.

    The DEFA Foundation also has the right to claim repayment of funding if the funds were not used in proper accordance with its original stated purpose, or if their use was not reported correctly.

    Repayment of funds will incur the additional payment of interest on these funds, at a rate 3% higher than the basic interest rate of the European Central Bank on the day of payment. 

    The DEFA Foundation may claim total or partial repayment of funds if the approved project goal cannot be accomplished as a result of the insufficient collaboration of the project leader or stipend holder.

    Approved funds that are not claimed within 12 months will be returned to the Foundation’s budget.

    Any of the approved funding that is not used must be returned to the DEFA Foundation’s account.

    This funding policy is effective as of July 31, 2007. The DEFA Foundation reserves the right to revisit and rework the funding policy at a later date in accordance with its experiences in sponsoring and funding.