Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPress2018: Success with arthouse films, funds increased, boost for games

2018: Success with arthouse films, funds increased, boost for games

  • 35.86 million Euros for 376 projects, including 59 feature films, 13 series and TV projects, 15 games projects
  • Box-office success with German comedies, children’s films and arthouse dramas: "All About Me", "What About Adolf?", "25 km/h", "Gundermann", "Help, I Shrunk My Parents" and others.
  • Sensational series and mini-series: "Babylon Berlin", "Perfume", "Wishlist 2.0" and "Gladbeck".
  • 120 prizes and awards for first-class arthouse: "The Heiresses", "Styx", "Verlorene", etc.
  • 150 films at 130 festivals: e.g. Berlin, Cannes, Locarno, Venice, Sundance, Toronto, Busan, etc.
  • Exciting film events: IFFF, Film Festival Cologne, EWIP, Lünen, Duisburg, Documentary Day, Cinema Conference
  • Strong games events: Clash of Realities, StreamCon, Womenize!, Gamification Day, Developers Award
  • International presentation of media hub: Cannes, Venice, Toronto, MIPCOM / MIPTV, International Emmys
  • New funding principles, guideline for games, and a further increase in the federal state’s funding by 3 million Euros for 2019

In 2018, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW made 35.86 million Euros availaable to support a total of 376 projects for the development, production and exploitation of moving image content – film, series, games and online content. Of this total, 21.4 million Euros went to 59 feature films and 7.9 million Euros to 13 TV films and series, around 727,000 Euros for screenplay and project development, and 1.3 million Euros for the development of 26 games and series, and 1.7 million to distribution and worls sales. In addition, 27 festivals, film presentations and regional promotion initiatives were supported with 892,000 Euros, and 1.06 million Euros went towards cinema funding. Solely the projects supported with production funding in 2018 generated  a NRW effect of 272%, triggering a regional spend of around 80 million Euros.

Moreover, the Filmstiftung provided an additional 1.06 million Euros for training and further education, 60,000 Euros went into the promotion of German film abroad (German Films), and another 1.79 million Euros came from the Creative Europe programme, so that a total of 38.77 million Euros was invested in  the film and media industry in NRW.

"2018 was a very important and very successful year for the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. Together with the federal state and its broadcasting partners, producers and creative minds, the development of NRW as a film and media hub could take some decisive steps forward and the course was set for the coming years. By increasing the funding available for 2019 by 3 million Euros, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia sent out clear signals for the sustainable strengthening of the film, TV and games industry in NRW in 2018. With this momentum, high-profile funding principles and a new guideline for games funding, we can be even more effective in the future in our support of producers, developers and creative forces in NRW," says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. "Successful arthouse films in the cinema, a Golden Globe, two Oscar nominations, a record-breaking 34 funded films and two Bears at the Berlinale, 13 prizes at the German Film Awards, and the Cannes Film Festival – where Marco Bellocchio’s Filmstiftung-backed co-production 'The Traitor' is in Competition – will start in a week’s time. Altogether, a wonderful endorsement for the funded projects and the creative forces  from NRW".

Box-office Success with German Comedies, Children’s Films and Strong Arthouse Dramas
Numerous productions backed by the Filmstiftung performed well at the box office in 2018.  This is how "What About Adolf?" by Sönke Wortmann came to post 1.1 million admissions, and "25 km/h" by director Markus Goller over 970,000 admissions.  "All About Me" by Caroline Link had an extraordinary opening at the end of 2018 and has reached 3.6 million admissions so far.  Once again, children’s and youth films delivered sure-fire box-office hits with such films as "Help, I Shrunk My Parents" by Tim Trageser, with around 850,000 admissions, or "Pettsson and Findus: Findus Moves Out" by Ali Samadi Ahadi, with almost 600,000 admissions to date.  "Gundermann" by Andreas Dresen was a success with over 350,000 admissions in the arthouse sector.  The most successful documentary film with over 40,000 cinema-goers was "On Hunting – Who Owns Nature" by Alice Agneskircher.

Award-winning cinematic art: Golden Globes, Silver Bears, 120 prizes and over 150 festival invitations
Films backed by the Filmstiftung were awarded prestigious prizes around the globe in 2018:  the 2018 Berlinale saw Marcelo Martinnessi’s "The Heiresses" win  two Silver Bears.  "In My Room" by Ulrich Köhler was invited to screen in the Un Certain Regard sidebar in Cannes, "Germany. A Winter’s Tale" by Jan Bonny in Locarno’s Competition, while Fatih Akin received a Golden Globe for "In The Fade", and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck received two Oscar nominations for "Never Look Away" after its premiere in Venice.  More than 150 funded productions were invited to around 130 festivals and were able to win more than 120 prizes and awards.  32 funded films were screened at the Berlinale in 2018, and nine films from NRW were presented in Toronto, including six world premieres.  Numerous Filmstiftung-backed productions were also shown at other international film festivals in Rotterdam, Sundance, Venice, Locarno, Busan and San Sebastian.

Sensational series and mini-series
2018 saw Filmstiftung-backed series and mini-series, in particular, making a name for themselves.  In the spring, the two-parter "Gladbeck" posted top ratings on ARD with 4.9 million viewers.  The hostage drama marked its 30th anniversary, and NRW’s Prime-Minister Armin Laschet took this opportunity to apologise to the victims.  In the autumn, "Babylon Berlin" premiered on ARD, was seen by 8 million viewers and awarded four German Television Awards, the Grimme Prize, the Golden Camera and a Bambi.  "Perfume" achieved good ratings on ZDFneo and was sold to Netflix.  The bestseller adaptation "Passagier 23" was seen by over 3 million viewers on RTL.  The TNT improvisation series "Other Parents" was shot in Cologne during the summer, and the Bauhaus series "Bauhaus – A New Era" was shot at the MMC studios in the autumn.  The web  series "Wishlist" was successful online with 8 million views.

The proportion of women being funded by the Fim- und Medienstiftung NRW increased again in 2018: women directors (35%) and women producers (31%) were responsible for about one third of the projects funded.

Shooting in NRW
In 2018, numerous international co-productions were produced in NRW such as "The Operative" by Yuval Adler, starring Diane Kruger and Martin Freeman, "Proxima" by Alice Winocour with Eva Green and Matt Dillon, or Marco Bellocchio’s "The Traitor". Major national shoots included "I’ve Never Been To New York" by Philipp Stölzl with Heike Makatsch, Moritz Bleibtreu and Katharina Thalbach, the biopic "Lindenberg! Do Your Thing!" by Hermine Huntgeburth with Jan Bülow, Detlev Buck and Charly Hübner, "Gut gegen Nordwind" by Vanessa Jopp with Nora Tschirner and Alexander Fehling, "Der letzte Bulle" by Peter Thorwarth with Henning Baum in the lead role, "Exile" by Visar Morina with Sandra Hüller and Mišel Matičević , "Mein Lotta-Leben" by Neele Leana Vollmar, as well as the series "Bauhaus – A New Era" by Lars Kraume about the Bauhaus era, "West of Liberty" by Barbara Eder with Wotan Wilke Möhring, or "Other Parents" with Lavinia Wilson, where the director Lutz Heineking jr. is currently preparing the second season.

Games, Web, VR – more funding, better networking and a new funding guideline
The Film- und Medienstiftung  supported 15 projects for the development of games and innovative audiovisual content with 1 million Euros.  They included "bayala" (Independent Arts Software), the mobile game "Das Schneiderlein" (Golden Orb), "Fata Deum" (42 Bits Entertainment) and "Faith + Honor: Barbarossa" (encurio).  Support from the Film- und Medienstiftung was granted to numerous other NRW-based events such as: the Clash of Realities conference, the German Developers Award, the Gamification Day, Womenize! as well as StreamCon.  With the first Games Summit in the State Chancellery, the increase in games funding to 1.5 million Euros in 2018 and by a further 1.5 million Euros in 2019, and the development of a new guideline for the funding of "digital games and interactive content", NRW set clear signals for the development of the region as an interactive hub.  The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW can now also support the production of computer and video games in addition to the development funding programme which had already been introduced in 2011.

Location marketing, presentation and networking
The Filmstiftung’s tasks also include communication and promotional measures to showcase the region.  In 2018, it presented the NRW film industry in Cannes, Locarno, Venice and Toronto and the TV hub at MIPTV and MIPCOM as well as the International Emmys in New York.  In addition, it invited guests to its own events such as the Documentary Day, the Cinema Conference, and the NRW Cinema Programming Awards, among others.  A total of nine festivals, six festival presentations, 26 film presentations and 12 location projects were supported with 986,300 Euros, and film events such as the Film Festival Cologne, the EWIP market platform,  Kinofest Lünen, Duisburg Film Week and the International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund|Cologne IFFF as well as the games events Clash of Realities, StreamCon, Womenize!, Gamification Day and the German Developers Award.  In 2018, the Filmstiftung subsidiary Mediencluster NRW also gave a boost to networking and promoting the location for the games and VR scene in the Mediennetzwerk.NRW, including the regular Gametreffs and the cross-media networking event "Match Me If You Can!

Cinema funding
Last year, the Filmstiftung made a total of 1.06 million Euros available for cinema modernisation measures, and the funding of film presentations and programmes.  At the NRW Cinema Programming Awards in November, 64 cinemas from 39 towns across NRW were awarded a total of 450,000 Euros, an amount unrivalled in Germany.


Outlook for 2019:

Funding targets formulated, funding principles developed, course set
Following the analysis of the funding results for  the previous year, the shareholders and the supervisory board of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW adopted new principles for the future film funding programe of the Film- und Medienstiftung for the first time in 2018.  Seen against the background of changing basic parameters and  market conditions for film and content production, the goal now is to raise the quality of the funded projects, their market and economic success, their artistic excellence as well as their quantitative and qualitative impact on the region.  The principles, which initially apply to the main funding committee, entered into force on 1 January 2019.

NRW State Parliament approves increase in funding for the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
With the adoption of the budget for 2019,  NRW’s State Parliament approved the increase in  funding for the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW by 3 million Euros each year.  In 2019, an additional 1.5 million Euros will be made available for the funding of films and series  – including 300,000 Euros for the simplified funding programme.  The games funding is being increased by 100% to 3 million Euros each year and can now be allocated for the development and production of "Digital Games and Interactive Content" via a new guideline.  Since taking office, the state government has increased funding for the Filmstiftung by a total of 5.5 million Euros.  Taken together with the financial contributions made by broadcaster shareholders, the Filmstiftung will therefore have way over 30 million Euros at its disposal to support film and media projects.

2019 already set to be a promising year for film and media
NRW-funded films were represented in all important festival sections of the Berlinale with 34 titles. For the fifth year running, the Filmstiftung also served as the Main Partner of the Drama Series Days as part of the European Film Market (EFM). The Bauhaus series "Bauhaus – A New Era" was not only shown here, but also at the Canneseries, and a Filmstiftung-backed German-Italian co-production, Marco Bellocchio’s "The Traitor", has been selected for the Competition in Cannes. At last weekend’s German Film Awards, 13 prizes went to the Filmstiftung-supported productions "Gundermann", "Styx" and "All About Me", including all of three main prizes – the Lolas in Gold, Silver and Bronze.