Both the supervisory board as well as the shareholders of German Films Service + Marketing GmbH convened in Munich yesterday (3.12.2018).
The incumbent supervisory board under the chairmanship of Peter Herrmann passed the planned measures for 2019 along with the associated business plan amounting to 4.9 million Euros. In addition, the supervisory board decided on Simone Baumann, the independent producer and representative of German Films in Central and Eastern Europe since 2003, as the successor to the position of managing director from 1 February, 2019.
„I am very pleased that we were able to acquire the services of Simone Baumann as the managing director of German Films. She has not only produced award-winning, courageous and controversial documentaries, but also tirelessly championed international cooperation. In her work on behalf of German Films in Central and Eastern Europe, she has created and maintained a closely knit and efficient network with all of the relevant representatives of the film industry. German Films is ideally equipped for the future with this new management,“ supervisory board chairman Peter Herrmann said, reaffirming the decision.
The designated managing director Simone Baumann states: "I have been representing the interests of German cinema in Eastern Europe for the past 16 years and have come to know all aspects of the German filmmaking. It is a great opportunity and a joy to now be strengthening the interest in German films worldwide from the Munich headquarters. I am looking forward to my new role!“
Apart from German Films' established projects, the 2019 business plan passed by the supervisory board includes one-off activities such as a German Focus at the SUNNY SIDE OF THE DOCS documentary market and an event with inter-cultural directors at US universities as part of the Year of Germany in the USA. Moreover, it was decided to increase the distribution support for German films abroad by 15 per cent since there has been an above-average increase in the demand for the funding in the past two years and this support is a key argument for the distributors when acquiring a German film.
The meeting of German Films' shareholders elected the six-person supervisory board for the period of two years from January 2019 (1.1.19 – 31.12.20) at its sitting in Munich today. Antonio Exacoustos (VDFE) and Peter Herrmann (German Producers Alliance) were re-elected. Sabine Pollmeier of AG Dok was elected as a new member. Jana Cernik (AG Kurzfilm) and Dr. Klaus Schäfer, the former managing director of FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, stepped down. FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Film- und Medienstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen represent the regional film funds as shareholders of German Films and have an agreement that one of their number is a member of the supervisory board on a rotating basis every two years. Kirsten Niehuus (Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg) was appointed to the supervisory board as the representative of the regional funding institutions according to the rotation. The main funders of German Films each delegate one representative to the supervisory board for its new term, the FFA is sending Peter Dinges, while the BKM will decide on its representative at a later date. The members of the supervisory board will elect the new chairperson from one of their number at the first sitting of the new supervisory board in 2019.
Shareholders of German Films - and thus represented in the meeting of the shareholders – are: the German Producers Alliance, the German Documentary Association (AG DOK), the German Short Film Association (AG Kurzfilm), FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, the Geeman Federal Film Board (FFA), Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the Deutsche Kinemathek, the Association of German Film Exporters (VDFE), and the German Producers Association.