Government ups cultural and media funding

Germany’s film industry has reason to celebrate following an agreement between the country’s Finance Ministry and lawmakers on the 2012 federal budget, which hikes coin available for cultural bodies, including film funds.

The plan includes a €50 million ($67.5 million) increase — up 5.1% — for the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the office held by Bernd Neumann.

The org has an annual budget of some $1.5 billion with about $123 million slated for film funding.

The increase is expected to guarantee the continuation of federal-level film funding initiatives, including the $80 million-a-year German Federal Film Fund.

As in 2011, the Culture and Media office will allocate $5.4 million for the digitization of film theaters next year. Funding for the Deutsche Kinemathek, international film promotion and the German Film Institute also remains stable.

Most of the budget increase, however, will go to non-film-related projects, such as the protection of national monuments.

Neumann praised fellow cabinet members and lawmakers for supporting the country’s cultural heritage.

In addition to thanking the Bundestag’s budget committee, Neumann emphasized that “the fact that the members of the coalition government are not only not making cuts, but are increasing the budget for culture despite the economic and financial crisis is exemplary when compared with other European governments.”

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