Confab to discuss idealism in film

Congress runs as part of Cologne Conference

MUNICH — Idealism in filmmaking will be one of the topics featured at the Intl. Film Congress in Cologne, which starts on Saturday.

The subject will be discussed by producers Roman Paul of Razor Film (“Paradise Now”), Margaret Menegoz of France’s Films du Losange (“Cache”) as well as Manuela Stehr and Bettina Boettinger of Teutonic outfits X Filme Creative Pool and Heimatfilm. Other panels will focus on international co-production and ancillary exploitation on DVD.

The congress, organized by the film funding body of state North Rhine Westphalia, Filmstiftung NRW, runs until Tuesday as part of the Medienforum NRW/Cologne Conference confab.

This year’s event was pushed back by a week to await the appointment of NRW’s next premier. After years of media-supportive rule by the Social Democrats, the state is now governed by the Christian Democrats and anxiety looms as to what the new policy will bring.

“Every new premier is sceptical initially,” said Filmstiftung topper Michael Schmid-Ospach, noting that the Filmstiftung had to persuade the intermediate SPD premier two years ago of the fund’s benefits for the state’s industry.

Filmstiftung NRW has an annual budget of E32 million ($39 million).

Meanwhile, Schmid-Ospach has been confirmed in his position until 2010 by the fund’s stakeholders, media body LFM, pubcasters WDR and ZDF, and commercial broadcaster RTL TV.

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