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Ninth Workshop – 25 to 27 September 2019 in Potsdam, Berlin

Module 2.1: New Formats


As we shift from linear programming in cinemas and broadcast to catalogue-based media on platforms, defining and designing the format to reach out to a global audience has become integral part of the content development process. The following questions arise in this context.

Some film funds in Europe have already adapted their strategies and opened up their financing schemes to transmedial and new media projects in development and/or production. The Danish Film Institute is one of the most active funds in this regard. Claus Ladegaard, CEO of the DFI presented during the 9th MEDICI workshop how his fund supports the creation of relevant and accessible content. The following section is a summary of his presentation.

Lecture and Q & A

Claus Ladegaard, CEO, Danish Film Institute
(see PDF)

Claus Ladegaard Lecture

At the Danish Film Institute (DFI), when we talk about the new formats, we exclude television shows and series already covered by the television support scheme. DFI could introduce a very liberal cross-media support scheme because of the Danish Film Act from 1994:

The DFI’ strategy behind the cross-media scheme is identical to the strategy behind all other schemes – to strengthen the cultural impact of Danish films. All projects we support should address the issues Danes are concerned with. They should be films for ourselves made by ourselves, that will help people deal with and understand difficult things in the Danish society. Integral part of this strategy is the adaptation to the digital transformation – funding content in all formats and on all platforms that the Danish audiences are using. In addition, we are also trying that the projects we finance reflect a diversity in every way.


1. Digital Games Scheme

The representative examples of the videogames supported by the DFI include:

Cosmic Top Secrets

Cosmic Top Secret Poster





2. The Cross-Media Development Scheme

3. Cross-media funding within all schemes

The representative examples of the cross-media projects supported by the DFI include:




4. Call “Universe”


Key Learning



Q & A with Claus Ladegaard

Did you receive money from the Danish government to implement this cross-media turn? And how are you communicating to conservative feature-film producers this new trend?
CL: The change is still not too radical. We allocate only 5% of the fund to the cross-media, so we do not need additional approvals and financing. Our strategy is to convince film producers that it makes sense to do games, web-series etc. in combination with films. But they are still too conservative, their motivation to change is still low and they are afraid that in the future they will lose the schemes for financing feature films.
Do producers at the moment of applying need to have a clear idea about the formats the want to use in cross-media projects?
CL: We only require that every application contains a visual element. Also, we encourage producers to come to us very early – in the pre-development process – before they decide on the formats, so that we can help them in choosing the right ones that expand the story. If they come after they decided on everything, then it does not work.
How does the distribution of cross-media projects work?
CL: We still lack a concrete business model that would ensure revenues for cross-media projects. The web-series we have funded are distributed on YouTube and nothing happens. They are 100% publicly funded. It is still much less income than in case of feature films, games and TV.
Do people make applications together (cross-media and classic producers) or is it film producers as “usual suspects” who apply through their established companies?
CL: We are quite open. It can be either of the two companies that receives the funding. We have a tradition that the applicant opens a single-purpose company and applies for funding, which can work here as well.
Do you organise match-making events where people from different sectors can meet up and learn about each other’s practices and vocabulary?
CL: We do not do it in a systematic way within Denmark, because it is a small country where feature film producers can easily get an overview of all available partners for cross-media projects. They do match-making themselves when they need each other as well as the Creative Europe Desk. We occasionally organise workshops and seminars, and maybe we should do more of that in the future. However, we are more active with match-making when it comes to international collaboration. We started co-operation with the Canada Media Fund and organized match-making talks with them. The Canadian industry is much more developed in terms of technology and audience research. The DFI signed the digital media co-development agreement with them three years ago. We identified producers, directors and creators who could be interested in collaboration of this sort and organised a match-making event with Canadians. As a result, we had 2 rounds with 10 applications. Four projects were selected in each co-development call, and three of them have moved to production. Our initial goal was modest – only to get a chance to tap into the knowledge of the Canadian fund, without expecting that our collaboration would result in actual projects. But in the end, we also have some productions, which is fantastic considering the small pool of Danish producers active in this area.
What are the experiences of other film funds with cross-media schemes?
CL: The Norwegian Film Institute has the support scheme for games that they opened at the initiative of the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. It was fascinating to find out that in Norway the primary game consumers are women in their 40s. There are also significant developments in Flanders. There they organise lectures and masterclasses by international experts, international story-telling conference where people representing different types of sectors and formats participate in order to inspire people to be more collective. In Germany, the game schemes are under the competence of regional film funds, not the federal film fund.

The public film funds’ experiences with new players and forms of content, their impact on funding schemes and their responsibility towards the industry in the 21st century

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