Medienboard’s ’03 has corks popping

Trickle-down effects generate $85 mil in region

BERLIN — Regional film funder Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg is celebrating 2003 as the most successful year in its 10-year history.

The Medienboard pumped E17 million ($21 million) into 189 local and international productions or film-related projects that lensed or were set in Berlin and Brandenburg, which in turn generated $85 million in the region due to trickle-down effects.

Medienboard-backed pics, including last year’s local hit “Good Bye, Lenin!,” attracted more than 15 million moviegoers and enjoyed critical success at international festivals. Roman Polanski’s “The Pianist” won three Oscars.

Petra Mueller, the org’s new topper, called the Berlin-Brandenburg region “the most exciting media hub in Germany,” adding that it was the country’s most “internationally attractive” location. “Hollywood comes to Babelsberg (studios), the new German cinema comes out of Berlin. We are the music and news capital. It is a unique profile, one that we have to strengthen, develop and more than anything, communicate.”

Mueller, who recently marked her first 100 days at the new post, outlined the Medienboard’s main goals: the creation of a national media policy as opposed to current state-level policies; beefing up marketing of German films abroad; improved networking and communication within the local media industry and government; and the assurance of continued increases for film subsidies.

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