Teutons have capital idea

German gov't sets up fund with $116 mil goal

BERLIN — It may be curtains for tax-shelter funds that bankroll Hollywood productions, but the German government is setting up a risk capital fund to raise E90 million ($116 million) over the next three years to support the local industry.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Tuesday agreed to the initiative during a meeting with Culture Minister Christina Weiss and industry reps including Berlin Film Festival topper Dieter Kosslick, VIP Medienfonds chief Andreas Schmid, Studio Hamburg head Sytze van der Laan, Egoli Tossell Film’s producer Jens Meurer, German Film Prods.’ David Groenewold and Georgia Tornow, head of producer org Film 20.

A committee will iron out the details, including how the money will be distributed.

New fund will offset Schroeder’s latest reform plan that ends tax-haven funds. While private film funds have raised billions, only an estimated $65 million a year has gone to the local industry and much of that for TV production.

Federal and regional film subsidy boards already offer more than $300 million annually in financial support to the film industry.

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