State approves $7.3 million to boost foreign projects
BERLIN — The state of Bavaria hopes to attract more international film and TV productions to the region with an increase of €7.8 million ($9.5 million) in support.The state government approved a new $7.3 million subsidy aimed specifically at international productions as part of its 2013-2014 budget. The subsidy will be overseen by the Bavarian Film and Television Fund (FFF), which also received an extra $2.2 million from the state. Currently, the FFF provides $34.2 million a year for screenplay, production, distribution and sales, games and theater funding. Bavarian media minister Thomas Kreuzer said the new budget “strengthens Bavaria as a film and media location, especially in the competition with other German states.” Kreuzer stressed that international productions, in particular, give the region a boost. “The entire Bavarian film industry benefits, from filming to service providers, post production and special effects.” Bavaria, and particularly its capital, Munich, is one of Germany’s leading film hubs. Munich alone accounts for 40% of all nationwide film industry revenue. In addition, 23 of the country’s top 100 media companies are based in the state. The Bavarian funding increase follows a planned $490,000 cut in film support next year in the state of Brandenburg, which together with Berlin offers $35.3 million a year in subsidies. The state currently gives $9.4 million a year to regional funder Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, which has an annual budget of $35.3 million. The state of Berlin contributes $12.2 million to the pot, with the remainder financed by TV broadcaster support.