Teuton helmers turn to funds

Director's association opens lines of communication

COLOGNE — German helmers are opening lines of communication to commercial fund groups to help finance locally made films.

“We want to create a market place for filmmakers and financers,” said Eberhard Hauff, chairman of directors’ group BVR and himself helmer of the Neuer Deutscher Film generation in the 70s.

BVR has linked up with Munich-based VIP, one of the largest independent German funds and co-financer of “Monster.”

Hauff defended commercial funds against the criticism that they pump “stupid German money” into Hollywood productions, and said a closer cooperation could help create quality German films.

Private funds and public funding bodies deal primarily with producers, while BVR intends to create a direct line to helmers, which then would not have to act in a double role. “Fatih Akin, Soenke Wortmann and others are producers as well,” BVR’s managing director Steffen Schmidt-Hug said. “Although we are an organization of artists, we are also the largest federation of producers.”

The move is a reaction to tightening public budgets, which has the film industry looking for new ways of financing.

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