Germany to spend more on culture

Budget to rise by 1.5% to $1.8 billion

Germany’s coalition government has agreed to up its culture budget by 1.5% to E1.13 billion ($1.8 billion), part of which will go to extending the country’s hugely popular $95 million-a-year Federal Film Fund through 2012.

Move is seen as yet another achievement for culture minister Bernd Neumann, the Federal Film Fund’s principal architect, who has managed to push through four consecutive budget increases for the country’s cultural spending – an overall boost of 7.8% – since taking the post in 2005.

The Federal Film Fund, which has backed such high-profile international productions as “Michael Hoffmann’s “The Last Station,” Julie Delpy’s “The Countess,” “James McTeigue’s “Ninja Assassin” and Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie,” has helped generate a total investment of $855 million in Germany’s film industry.

The increase is part of the government’s $456.5 billion budget for the 2009-2012 period, which is expected to be ratified by the lower house of parliament, or Bundestag, in November.

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