Nordmedia splits its wealth between TV and film

While regional funder and location services provider Nordmedia has traditionally had a stronger focus on television than feature film production, filmmakers still have plenty of reason to shoot in northern Germany.

In its second round of funding this year, Nordmedia approved E2.75 million ($4 million) for 45 projects in areas ranging from film and TV production and project development to distribution and sales.

The biggest allotment, $230,000, went to the TV docudrama “Der Referent Eichmann” from doc.station Medienproduktion in Hamburg. Pic examines the postwar life of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires prior to his capture by Israeli agents. It also looks at the relationship between his son and a young Jewish woman, the daughter of a concentration camp survivor.

Among the projects to get script and project development coin are “Der Kundschafter,” a fact-based story about a British student who travels to East Germany on an exchange program in the early 1980s and is recruited by the Stasi secret police; and “Rolling Thunder,” about a disabled photographer who falls in love with a dancer.

Jochen Coldewey, Nordmedia’s head of funding, says international productions are also welcome and all a foreign producer would need is a German partner, regardless where in the country the company is based. Productions receiving Nordmedia coin must spend at least 100% of the subsidy money, and preferably up to 125%.

While there are no major film studio complexes in the region, temporary facilities are available in Hanover, and there’s access to film labs and post-production facilities.

Leading companies in the area include Bremedia in Bremen and the Hanover-based TVN Group.

Bremedia, a joint venture between Munich’s Bavaria Film and Radio Bremen, is a production company in its own right as well as a service provider. Similarly, TVN is a film and television production facility.

Hanover is also home to Ambient Entertainment, which specializes in computer animation. The company produced 2004’s “Back to Gaya,” Germany’s first domestically produced 3-D animated film, as well as 2006’s “Impy’s Island” and its 2008 sequel “Impy’s Wonderland.” Nordmedia backed all three titles.

“We like to provide sustainable support so we look for projects that remain here for a longer period of time rather than just one or two days,” says Coldewey. “In this regard, TV series are ideal. We don’t just offer cultural support; it’s also economic assistance.”

One series that greatly benefited from Nordmedia’s support early on is pubcaster ARD’s long-running hit telenovela “Rote Rosen.” The series shoots at the Studio Hamburg Serienwerft Lueneburg studios in Lower Saxony.

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