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Kuratorium gets new lease on life

Plans to shut down org met with nationwide protests

BERLIN — German state leaders have backtracked on plans to shut down the Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film state subsidy org.

The Kuratorium, established in 1965, is the only funding body financed by all of Germany’s 16 federal states; org backs mainly children’s pics and films by first-time directors.

Last month state leaders voted to gut the subsidy board as part of their budget cuts, but the decision met with nationwide protest from the local film industry, including other regional and federal funding boards.

The Kuratorium offers E750,000 ($895,000) a year for film projects. Recently backed pics include Florian Hoffmeister’s Locarno winner “3 Degrees Colder”; “Nimm dir dein Leben,” Sabina Michel’s upcoming drama about life in a village near the Polish border; Thomas Wendrich’s “Maria am Wasser,” about a young man who reappears in a small Saxon town after having apparently died as a child 16 years before; and Sven Duefer’s documentary “Friedrich Nietzsche.”

Although the Kuratorium was saved from the chopping block, the state governments passed an earlier plan to cut the org’s annual budget by 5% a year for the next three years.

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