BERLIN — Germany’s deep-pocketed film funders keep getting richer.
Just days after Bavarian subsidy org FFF Bayern upped its annual budget by E350,000 ($450,967), thanks to a boost by pubcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk, commercial rival RTL Television has agreed to back the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg to the tune of some $636,000 a year.
Already a shareholding partner in fellow regional funders FFF Bayern and the Filmstiftung NRW, as well as the German Federal Film Board (FFA), RTL now joins existing Medienboard backers ProSiebenSat.1 and pubcasters ZDF, RBB and ARD Degeto. RTL’s overall contributions to the country’s film subsidies now exceed $9 million.
Germany’s leading commercial broadcaster, RTL is not exactly known for producing theatrical German films and the broadcaster made clear that the new funding was aimed at mainstream, audience-friendly features and TV event movies.
RTL topper Anke Schaeferkordt said, “Successful fictional in-house productions make a channel distinctive — at RTL they are among the most popular genres. That’s why we want to actively participate in their support.”
Added Medienboard managing director Kirsten Niehuus: “I believe there are many films here that can benefit from this partnership.”
Recent productions financed by the Medienboard include David Cronenberg’s shrink drama “A Dangerous Method,” starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley — about Sigmund Freud and Gustav Jung and the woman that came between them; Farhan Akhtar’s Bollywood actioner “Don II,” with Shah Rukh Khan; and Paramount Germany and ProSieben’s apocalyptic thriller “2016 — Das Ende der Nacht,” from Tim Fehlbaum and exec produced by Roland Emmerich.