Studio Hamburg sails on credit line

Outfit has $26 mil to spend on English films

BERLIN — More gold is set to gild the German film biz.

Studio Hamburg has just unveiled a three-year Euros 20 million ($26 million) a year credit line for English-language pics targeted at the international market.

The company’s Studio Hamburg Intl. Prod. division is handling the financing scheme, which was set up with Commerzbank and underwritten by the Berlin, Brandenburg and Hamburg state governments.

SHIP plans to produce two pics a year budgeted at between $13 million and $19 million, providing 20% to 30% of the total budget.

Top of the slate is SHIP’s family film “The Three Investigators and Terror Castle,” the follow up to Florian Baxmeyer’s “The Three Investigators and the Secret of Skeleton Island,” which Buena Vista Intl. is releasing later this year. Latter pic was financed under Studio Hamburg’s previous deal with Commerzbank.

SHIP’s credit line is just the latest film financing out of Germany.

The federal government has launched a $78 million-a-year fund that will provide up to 20% of the budget for films shot in Germany that meet European Union cultural guidelines.

The German Federal Film Board has already selected four local productions for financing via the new government fund known as the Deutsche Filmfoerderfonds (DFFF).

They are Maggie Peren’s “Stellungswechsel” and Adnan Koese’s “Ironman” as well as Constantin’s “Warum Manner nicht zuhoeren und Frauen schlecht einparken” from Leander Haussmann and tyke pic “Urmel im Wunderland” from Holger Tappe and Reinhard Klooss. Financing ranged from $470,000 to $1.5 million.

Teutonic producers here also have access to federal and regional film subsidy boards, which offer more than $250 million a year in support.

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