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With broadcasters paying less and demanding more rights, it’s all the more necessary to secure film subsidy financing. But commissioning editors, needing product they can show immediately, are getting less involved in theatrical docs.
One commissioning editor acknowledges the dilemma, saying, “When you take the programs that are made for TV, you just get typical TV product. And that’s not what we want.”
Regional film subsidy funds like Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg remain supportive of theatrical docs, both in production and distribution, but competition for screens and a decline of programming strands makes the endgame difficult.
But industryites believe the fact that docs get screen time and are taken seriously, regardless of mass appeal, makes the fight worthwhile.
Whether AG Dokumentarfilm can shout loudly enough to change the situation remains to be seen.