NRW gave $55 mil to film in 2007

Projects spent $80 mil in state

COLOGNE — Filmstiftung NRW, the film funding org of German state North Rhine Westphalia, said Friday it had handed out Euros 38 million ($55 million) in support of 131 projects this year.

Filmstiftung’s rules demand that support given to projects should generate 150% worth of spend in the state. The org stated that the average spend this year was 180% of production aid, which translated into a benefit of $80 million for the local industry.

The year was characterized by a high number of period pics. These included Heinrich Breloer’s Thomas Mann adaptation “Buddenbrooks,” featuring Armin Mueller-Stahl; Helma Sanders-Brahms’ composer biopic on Robert and Clara Schumann, featuring Martina Gedeck; Max Faeberboeck’s “Anonyma,” set in the last days of World War II; and Marco Kreuzpaintner’s 19th century country drama “Krabat,” featuring Daniel Bruehl.

Filmstiftung’s topper, Michael Schmid-Ospach said he expects the trend to continue.

The year starts with Stephen Daldry’s filming for “The Reader,” starring Nicole Kidman, and Theo Angelopoulos’ “Dust of Time,” featuring Willem Dafoe, Michel Piccoli and Bruno Ganz.

The list of projects supported by the org include pics made by local shingles overseas, such as “Helen,” which Sandra Nettelbeck (“Mostly Martha”) is shooting with Ashley Judd and Goran Visnjic in Vancouver.

A delegation from NRW will visit Los Angeles in January in order to try to boost the number of co-productions with U.S. partners.

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