Venture to bring in film production to Germany

In yet another deal that underscores Berlin’s role as Europe’s movie metropolis, Pinewood Studios and Studio Hamburg have formed a joint venture that ensures more international feature film production in Germany.

The deal, announced Wednesday at the Berlinale, will allow international filmmakers to take advantage of the studios’ joint infrastructure and services in Germany and the U.K.

The newly created Pinewood Studio Berlin Film Services will have access to Studio Hamburg’s production and studio facilities in Hamburg and at the Berlin Adlershof complex as well as those of Pinewood, which include Shepperton and Teddington Studios.

For Pinewood, the deal follows similar ventures in Toronto and Malaysia.

It also opens the doors for Pinewood productions to access German coin. With the country’s generous federal and regional film funding at some $380 million a year, Germany has in recent years emerged as the most dynamic region for film production in Europe. Increased coin in recent years has lured a slew of high-profile international productions to Germany, including Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” and Roland Emmerich’s upcoming “Anonymous.”

The importance of German incentives was underscored by the presence of Christine Berg, head of Germany’s €60 million ($82.1 million) Federal Film Fund DFFF) at a joint press conference in Berlin on Wednesday.

“The DFFF is a generous and attractive fiscal incentive and was a very important point in the decision-making for the partners,” Pinewood Studios Group CEO Ivan Dunleavy said.

Indicating that Pinewood had lost some productions to German competition in the past, Dunleavy said, “Companies have to be smarter these days,” adding that the partnership would mean more cost efficiency and greater opportunities for filmmakers.

The Pinewood-Studio Hamburg deal comes in the wake of another high-profile international agreement, the formation of a production joint venture in Potsdam by Babelsberg and Paris-based Celluloid Dreams that will facilitate German funding for French projects.

“The joint venture offers international film producers new and cost effective solutions for filming in Germany,” said Studio Hamburg managing director Robin Houcken. “We’re very pleased to have in Pinewood, a partner that stands for quality, growth and ultimately a great cinema tradition.”

Added Pinewood Studios Group CEO Ivan Dunleavy: “This is a further development in our international strategy to leverage the Pinewood brand and expertise globally to benefit both local markets and the U.K. creative industries. Studio Hamburg’s excellent stages in Berlin, coupled with Pinewood’s expertise and reputation in the film industry, will undoubtedly be an attractive offering to many European and international producers that favor the excellent skills base, varied locations and incentives available.”

Pinewood Studio Berlin marks an expansion for Studio Hamburg into theatrical production. While it has hosted high-profile pics like “Resident Evil” and “Good Bye, Lenin!” and served as co-producer on such films as Florian Baxmeyer’s “The Three Investigators” franchise and Margarethe von Trotta’s “Rosenstrasse,” TV production accounts for most of the work at Studio Hamburg’s facilities.

The Adlershof studio, which operates two vast soundstages, is among the most modern in Europe.

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