German Film Industry Associations Demand Nationwide Shooting Ban

NRW Film Producers' Association Ban on filming
Film industry associations demand official ban on filming due to corona pandemic | © Photo: Shutterstock

In order to slow down the spread of the corona pandemic and to protect those involved, German Producers’ Association and the Film- und Medienverband NRW are calling for an immediate, nationwide regulation that would allow the cancellation of all ongoing filming and the postponement of all shooting without shifting the responsibility for this step solely onto the individual production companies, as stated in a joint press release by the two organisations.

Berlin, March 24, 2020

In a press release, the German Producers’ Association and the Film and Media Association NRW call for an immediate, nationwide regulation that would allow the cancellation of all ongoing shooting and the postponement of all upcoming shooting. At present, this decision and the considerable risks involved are being passed on to the individual production companies. The health of the many filmmakers on the set cannot be guaranteed, because social distance and trusting, professional shooting are mutually exclusive, the associations write.

Dozens of people together in a confined space over long periods of time

As the Producers’ Association and the Film- und Medienverband NRW state, several dozen people are usually together in a confined space over long periods of time during shooting. Physical closeness and contact cannot be avoided and the required distances between people cannot be maintained. The corona pandemic makes it impossible to continue filming for reasons of health protection, not only for those directly involved.

The two associations maintain that it is negligent that all cultural institutions, including cinemas, have been closed nationwide, but filming can continue. This undermines the efforts of all sides to stem the explosive spread of the corona virus.  However, the regulations regarding the execution, postponement and cancellation of filming for fictional cinema and television productions are incomplete throughout Germany and do not guarantee a binding legal framework for those affected and involved.

Producers’ association and Film and Media Association NRW demand an immediate, nationwide regulation

The coming days and weeks are crucial for the further course of the corona pandemic. The professional association and the Film Foundation therefore urgently appeal to the competent authorities to issue a nationwide uniform ban on fictional filming for cinema and television productions.

As there is no uniform regulation on this issue to date due to the federal structure, the Producers’ Association and the Film and Media Association NRW urgently call on the federal states, local authorities, occupational safety and health authorities to make use of the possibilities they are legally entitled to and to issue ordinances or general rulings free of interpretation and to create a uniform legally binding framework for the cancellation or postponement of shooting.

These regulations should also apply to those productions that have already taken responsibility for the health of team members, actors* and service providers due to the pandemic and have interrupted or postponed shooting at their own risk. At the same time, legal certainty must also be created with regard to the comprehensive application of compensation claims based, among other things, on the Infection Protection Act.

Consequences for production companies

Production companies currently still have to decide between starting or continuing filming under non-compliant safety precautions on the one hand and aborting at their own risk on the other. Since any shooting would be irresponsible, more and more productions have to and do act on their own initiative – without a reliable legal basis regarding access to rescue and compensation measures of the federal and state governments and compensation or assumption of additional costs by the commissioning broadcasters and financing film subsidies.

Here, according to the press release, a clear step by the authorities is needed to create legal certainty, as is solidarity on the part of the television stations as clients to assume responsibility over and above the promises made so far.

Source: Press release Produzentenverband e.V. und Film- und Medienverband NRW e. V.

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