Teutonic state lines up film coin

Germany's NRW assembles $20 million fund

COLOGNE — The government of German state North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) has announced plans to line up an additional 15 million euros ($20 million) in support of film production.

The announcement was made by the state’s prime minister Juergen Ruettgers at the June 18 opening of Medienforum NRW confab in Cologne.

In July, state bank NRW Bank will open a new fund with more than $13.7 million “to participate in the film industry’s growth potential,” Ruettgers said. In addition, $6.7 million will be lined up for loans “to help creative companies overcome problems with their equity capital.”

Last year, the government had actually somewhat lowered its contribution to the state’s film funder Filmstiftung NRW. But Ruettgers said, “Filmstiftung is still the strongest film funder of all German states,” with an annual budget of $45 million per year, the larger part provided by TV broadcasters.

Ruettgers added that the government had asked to give a stronger focus on support for tyro talents, and suggested that its contribution to Filmstiftung, which will be renewed 2008, is again under review

According to Ruettgers, NRW last year served as location and production site for more than 120 pics with a financial volume of over $200 million spent in the state. He said the wider entertainment industry in 2006 created some 700 jobs here.

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