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German coin going ‘International’

Tykwer's features nabs cash from DFFF

BERLIN — Tom Tykwer’s “The International” has become the latest overseas production to secure financing from the $80 million-a-year German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).

The Sony Pictures political thriller, which stars Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, is receiving €4 million ($5.4 million) toward its budget.

Babelsberg Film is co-producing along with the Mosaic Media Group.

Pic, about an Interpol agent investigating corruption at powerful banking institutions, is set to start lensing in the German capital next month.

The DFFF also announced Friday that it is putting up $3.64 million for Uli Edel’s 1970s West German terrorist drama “The Baader-Meinhof Complex” as well as $1 million for “The Wave,” Dennis Gansel’s tale of modern-day fascism. Latter feature is a German-language adaptation of the 1981 ABC Afterschool Special movie about a high school history-class experiment gone awry.

Austrian helmer Stefan Ruzowitzky’s “Hexe Lilli” (Lilly the Witch), a live-action/animated pic based on the popular children’s books from German scribe Knister, is receiving $1.7 million from the fund.

Bryan Singer’s WWII drama “Valkyrie,” starring Tom Cruise, and the Wachowski brothers’ “Speed Racer” have also received coin from the fund, which has helped to dramatically bolster the German film industry and attract major international productions to the country.

Introduced this year to help the local industry after the government cracked down on the now-defunct private tax-shelter film funds, the DFFF grants productions shooting in Germany a 20% refund on local spend.

The German Federal Film Board, which administers the DFFF, announced 15 new projects that would receive DFFF coin. The fund has so far granted $57.5 million to 62 domestic and international productions and has $20 million lined up for a further 19 films.

One likely candidate to receive funding is Stephen Daldry’s postwar drama “The Reader,” starring Nicole Kidman, which is expected to start shooting in Berlin next month.

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