Before a film can get made it needs to go through the „development phase“. This phase is the first step of every film production and includes developing/elaborating the idea of the film, writing a screenplay, acquiring financing, contracting rights etc.
Development activities that can be funded with the DW Akademie Film Development Fund include, but are not limited to: Work on your screenplay, research (travel), production of a mood reel or trailer participation in labs (lab fees), acquire financing for production (work on further funding applications, travel to festivals etc), location or character scouting) etc.
The development costs you can apply for include:
- Research costs associated with the project
- Script editor fees
- Writer fees
- Travel expenses associated with the project
- Lab, conference, market fees
- Production costs for a mood trailer
- General costs (project-related stationery, telephone, office rent, etc.)
- Rights acquisition fees
- Legal consulting
We ask you to apply in English. If you include documents with your application that are in another language, please include an English translation.
- Application form
- Treatment (fictional projects max. 20 pages, docs: max 7 pages)
- Activity schedule: List and time schedule of the activities planned for the one-year period, leading to predefined outcomes
Applicants whose projects get shortlisted will be asked to submit:
- The latest version of the treatment or screenplay
- If available: proof of rights acquisition
DW Akademie will contact you in case your project gets shortlisted.
A treatment is written before the screenplay. It is a condensed narrative of the film’s story. A treatment is shorter than a screenplay and usually doesn’t contain detailed dialog. It should read like a short story, told in the present tense.
Please submit a maximum of 20 pages for a fictional project and a maximum of 7 pages for documentaries. Please file the treatment in English.
Filmmakers from the Diaspora are unfortunately not eligible. Only applicants who permanently live and work in the call for applications country can apply. If you are a citizen living outside of the country for more than three months per year, please contact DW Akademie before applying:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission is then decided on a case-by-case basis.
For us to provide a tailor-made and individualized training program, we need detailed information on the fields of work in which training would help you to best implement your project and enhance your professional skills.
Every successful filmmaker will be paired with an international expert mentor that will guide them through the development process of their film project for the whole year.
In addition, DW Akademie will offer tailor-made training opportunities in different formats and on various subjects for all selected filmmakers. The training offer will be designed according to the filmmakers´ needs.
No, a consultation with DW Akademie is not mandatory, but we highly recommend you take part in an online Q&A-Session held shortly after the call for applications. The meeting will provide you with information on the application procedure and you will also be able to pose questions directly to DW Akademie. The meeting date will be announced on the website.
With the proof of rights, the applicant shows ownership of the necessary rights to implement the project. The applicant declares he/she holds the intellectual property rights and, if applicable, has acquired the necessary rights to undertake the project.
If your film includes elements that are based on, or in part based on, another original work (e.g. another film, book, song, etc.) you will need the necessary permissions or rights to undertake your project. Getting these legal clearances is an important part of your development process. Some examples:
- A biographical documentary about a real person; for this you will need the life rights from that person or their estate
- Adaptation of a book into a dramatic film; for this you will need the adaptation rights from the publisher
- A short film about a specific record label; for this you will need the music rights to their catalogue
You may also need additional clearance relating to archival videos, songs, locations, images and literature quotes.
Yes, you can still apply if you do not yet have the necessary permission or rights to undertake your project. DW Akademie will contact you if your project is shortlisted and you have not yet filed a proof of rights.
You will be sent a confirmation saying that we have received your application and that your submission is complete. Please do not contact our office to confirm your application.
Yes, we will contact you if your project has been shortlisted.
We will inform you by email if the jury has selected your project and let you know as soon as the decision has been made. Please note that this will be approximately two months after the application deadline has expired.
The funding period is for one year and begins on the day the fund is awarded. However, the funds will be paid out only after a contract has been signed by both parties. Any disbursement of funds prior to the signing of the contract is at your own risk.
Please note: These are merely examples of a logline, for reference only. They are intended to show how a logline might be constructed. We would like to stress that the logline examples are in no way intended to serve as suggestions for the content of projects submitted by the applicants.
- „After a spectacular bank robbery, the thieves begin to suspect a police informant among them.“
- „A young woman disappointed by her family casts aside her life in the country for the big city. But it’s there that she discovers where her roots truly lie.“
- „Two school friends with very different professional ambitions meet again and again at significant turning points in their lives until they realize that they love each other.“
- „Focusing on three young female protagonists from different backgrounds, the documentary exposes social structures that lead to violence against women.“
- „In order to provide for his economically challenged family, a 16-year-old teenager gives up his dream of becoming a successful soccer player – only to be discovered as a great soccer talent.“