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Filmprojector
© Colourbox
German film fund woos world filmmakers

February 18, 2008

A new state subsidy model has made Germany an attractive place to make movies. Wooed by the public funding, both illustrious Hollywood movie producers and industry newcomers are setting up their cameras in Germany.

It is more than just the historic settings and rich natural locations of Germany that is drawing filmmakers in hordes to the country. A new state subsidy model has made Germany an attractive place to make movies. Wooed by the public funding, both illustrious Hollywood movie producers and industry newcomers are setting up their cameras in Germany.

The fresh source of film subsidy has injected new vigor into Germany's rich cinematic tradition, which earlier had been a great rival to Hollywood with classics like Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel featuring, young Marlene Dietrich.

The German Film Fund grants a refund amounting upto 20% on local spending to productions that shoot in Germany. International co-productions can only claim the subsidy if a local German partner is actively and creatively involved.

Launched 13 months ago, the $80 million-a-year reserve has had a total economic effect of about $571.4 million in production spending in 2007.

Ninety nine projects including 80 features and 14 documentaries were supported in 2007. Many German filmmakers like Fatih Akin, Tom Tykwer, Caroline Link and Doris Dörrie - whose new film Cherry Blossoms premiered at the Berlin Film Festival 2008- were among the recipients. But the fund's directors say they're less interested in the directors' nationality than where the film's budget is spent.

Back to Africa, a documentary about a small African circus’s tour of Germany, is the most modest production that received financial support from the state-run German Film Fund (DFFF) last year. Hollywood blockbuster Speed Racer, by Matrix producers Andy and Larry Wachowski, was the most opulent.



by Swati Sharma
© German Information Centre New Delhi
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