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BERLIN — The German parliament upped the Culture Ministry budget by $30 million to $1.6 billion, despite spending cuts at most other ministries.

The increase will include $5.4 million to digitalize cinemas, especially in rural areas.

On Friday Culture Minister Bernd Neumann thanked the government for “underscoring the importance of culture even in times of economic distress.”

Neumann, an unabashed film fan and backer of the German Federal Film Fund, which has helped rejuvenate filmmaking in Germany over the last four years, said he was especially pleased about the money for the digitalization of cinemas.

“It’ll be a joint project including the federal government, the film industry and film subsidy boards,” he said.