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‘Reader’ receives German funds

Stephen Daldry drama gets $719,000

BERLIN — Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader,” starring Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes, has received Euros 500,000 ($718,752) from Germany’s Federal Film Board (FFA).

Pic, which is currently shooting in Berlin and Goerlitz, also stars up-and-coming German thesp David Kross (“Tough Enough”) as a teen who falls for a mysterious older woman, played by Kidman, in postwar Germany.

Produced by Mirage Prods. partners Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack with Scott Rudin for the Weinstein Co., “The Reader” is based on the bestselling novel by German writer Bernhard Schlink. Senator Film has picked up German rights.

Pic is the latest international production to receive German coin after such films as Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie” and the Wachowskis’ “Speed Racer.”

In its latest round of subsidy grants, the FFA also agreed to back Joseph Vilsmaier’s supernatural folktale “Die Geschichte vom Brandner Kaspar” (“The Story of Brandner Kaspar”) with $575,303, as well as Wim Wenders’ “The Palermo Shooting” with $288,000.

Due to a procedural error from 2004, the highest grant went to Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Adolf Hitler drama “Downfall,” which received $862,836.

The Constantin film became one of 2004’s biggest local hits after grossing $43.2 million at the German box office.

Til Schweiger’s upcoming “Zwei Ritter geben Vollgas” and Anno Saul’s “Past Perfect” also received FFA support to the tune of $575,118 each, while Christian Petzold’s “Jerichow” got $359,418.

In total, the FFA granted $4.5 million in film subsidies in its last session.

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