Cuts drive Wenders away

Helmer threatens to move shingle after funding cut

COLOGNE — Wim Wenders is mulling moving production company Reverse Angle out of Hamburg, after the city-state’s decision to halve its annual $8.4 million public film subsidies.

News of the coin cutback came on the day of the Deutscher Filmpreis award ceremony in Berlin in June and caused an immediate uproar.

“The announcement is a slap in the face of all those who have been loyal to Hamburg, or who recently decided to improve the city’s significance with additional activities,” Wenders on Monday said in an open letter to the city’s mayor.

He and partner Peter Schwartzkopff set up Reverse Angle in Hamburg two years ago. Company is due to start work on Wenders’ next pic, “Don’t Come Knockin’,” which would not have come about without support from funding board FilmFoerderung Hamburg, the director said.

Wenders noted his decision to set up shop in Hamburg was encouraged by possible cooperation with the new Hamburg Media School for film. “We were hoping to create synergies between the school and the industry, which would help keep future filmmakers in the place where they were educated.”

Studio Hamburg and helmer Fatih Akin, whose Berlin Bear-winning “Head-On” was partially financed with grants from Hamburg, also may move out.

Pubcaster ZDF has already warned that it will withdraw its share of Hamburg’s subsidies, insisting its support was tied to a minimum contribution by the state government.

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