BERLIN — Citing the economic impact of international TV series such as “Homeland,” which is currently being shot in the German capital, Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller has announced a €1.5 million ($1.63 million) increase in the annual budget of film and TV subsidy organization Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg to some $37 million.
Speaking on the set of Showtime’s hit political thriller on Monday, Mueller said the city had set aside $3.27 million for the Medienboard’s 2016 and 2017 budgets. The surrounding state of Brandenburg has yet to announce a similar increase in its contribution to the subsidy board, which backs film and TV productions in both states.
With a reported production cost of around $45 million for the 12-episode season, “Homeland” is having a major impact on the local production industry. “That’s a massive economic factor,” said Mueller.
The Medienboard is supporting the show with $1.1 million, as reported exclusively in Variety. “Homeland” is shooting at Studio Babelsberg as well as at some 200 locations around the city with a cast and crew of about 700. German actors Sebastian Koch (“The Lives of Others”) and Alexander Fehling (“Inglourious Basterds”) join Claire Danes in season five as Carrie Mathison’s new German boss and love interest, respectively. Set two years after season four, Carrie is no longer with the CIA, working instead for a private security firm in Berlin.
The Medienboard’s budget increase follows the launch earlier this year of a new funding program aimed specifically at TV series production.
The German capital is also serving as the location of Tom Tykwer’s ambitious historical crime drama “Babylon Berlin,” which also shoots this summer. Based on Volker Kutscher’s bestselling novels, the series is set in the 1920s and follows the investigations of police inspector Gereon Rath. Berlin’s X-Filme, pubcaster ARD, Sky Germany and Beta Film are producing the skein.