Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressAnniversary year in NRW: 25 years of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW

Anniversary year in NRW: 25 years of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW


  • Germany’s largest regional film fund was founded on 27 February, 1991
  • More than 2,100 films have been supported with 642 million Euros since that date
  • Ade, Frears, Haneke, Howard, Jarmusch, Kraume, Link, Loach, Marais, Neshat, Roehler, Schweiger, Tykwer, von Trier, von Trotta, Wenders, Wortmann and many more made their films with support from NRW
  • 37 admission millionaires and plenty of awards: 1 Oscar, 120 Lolas, 7 Bears, 2 Palms
  • Successful development: opening up for new media and location marketing
  • Currently: „Oscar" nomination for Filmstiftung-backed production „Mustang"

The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Germany’s largest regional fund, is turning 25. On 27 Februar 1991, the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, represented by Prime-Minister Johannes Rau, and WDR, represented by director-general Friedrich Nowottny, founded the Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf. The shareholders soon also included ZDF, RTL and the media watchdog Landesanstalt für Medien. The funding of film productions was to promote the development of the region as a production and media hub, thereby accelerating the structural change. With great success: North Rhine-Westphalia is now one of Europe’s leading media hubs with 412,000 employees, 24,000 companies and an annual turnover of almost 122 billion Euros. The Filmstiftung NRW was the first fund to combine cultural and economic goals, a model that was subseqently followed by all of the German as well as European funds. Since 2011, the institution has opened itself up as the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW to the new media and taken on the responsibilities for location marketing and development for NRW as a film and media region in the course of this reorientation.

NRW Prime-Minister Hannelore Kraft: ¨NRW is Germany’s leading TV hub, a production location much in demand, and has represented award-winning and popular cinema for many years. World-class films are made here. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW plays a vital role in this.¨

WDR director-general Tom Buhrow: ¨Outstanding productions, young talents, a rapid upswing in NRW as a film region: looking back on a quarter century of the Film- und Medienstiftung is a success story the like of which the cinema wouldn’t have been able to bring to the screen in any nicer way. WDR is proud to be part of this story and sincerely congratulates you on the 25th anniversary!¨

The founding CEO was Frank Hübner (1991 to 1992), followed by Dieter Kosslick (1992 to 2001) and Michael Schmid-Ospach (2001 to 2010). Petra Müller has been running the Film- und Medienstiftung’s affairs since the end of 2010.

¨The Filmstiftung is one of the main pillars of NRW as a film and media region. In the past 25 years, it was able to support more than 2,100 German and international film and TV productions, thus enabling North Rhine-Westphalia to become one of the leading production locations for film and media in Europe today. And we laid the foundations for the digital age with the opening up to location marketing and new media,¨ says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. ¨My thanks go to all the shareholders and committees for their support and commitment, to all the partners for the good collaboration, my predecessors and, in particular, to all the filmmakers for their wonderful work!¨

With an average funding volume of around 35 million Euros, the Film- und Medienstiftung remains Germany’s financially strongest regional film fund. Since its founding, it has supported 2,125 films for cinema and television with around 642 million Euros. Other funding was invested in the modernisation of cinemas, the development of radio plays, innovative TV formats or audiovisual content and in supporting the next generation of filmmakers and media practitioners in NRW. Moreover, the so-called NRW effect (on average, 250% for every funding Euro) has ensured that studios have been busy and there has been employment for production service-providers and creatives. As an integrated funding institution, the Film- und Medienstifting has operated since 2011 as a central port of call for film and media. In tandem with the federal state, new funding instruments were created for new media content (games, apps and web videos), networking opportunities and communications platforms.

Collaboration with well-known directors
The first sitting of the funding committee in April 1991 saw funding being allocated to „Schtonk" by Helmut Dietl with Götz George and Uwe Ochsenknecht, which subsequently received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. This has since been followed by projects from many national and international directors such as Maren Ade, Fatih Akin, Feo Aladag, Stephen Frears, Dominik Graf, Michael Haneke, Ron Howard, Jim Jarmusch, Lars Kraume, Caroline Link, Ken Loach, Pia Marais, Shirin Neshat, Sandra Nettelbeck, Oskar Roehler, Til Schweiger, Tom Tykwer, Lars von Trier, Margarete von Trotta, Wim Wenders or Sönke Wortmann.

37 admission millionaires and lots of awards: 1 Oscar, 120 Lolas, 7 Bears, 2 Palms
Filmstiftung-supported productions received numerous awards at all the important international festivals, including 12 Oscar nominations (incl. „Amélie From Montmartre", „Pina" and an Oscar (for Kate Winslet in „The Reader") and 2 Golden Palms („The Wind that Shakes the Barley", „Dancer in the Dark") and 10 other main prizes in Cannes, 2 Golden Lions („Carla’s Song", „A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence") and 5 other main prizes in Venice, a Golden Bear („Bal") and 6 other Bears at the Berlinale, 2 Emmys (for „Die Manns", „Generation War"), 40 European Film Awards or 120 German Film Awards. They also included major box-office successes like„Manitou’s Shoe" (11.6 m admissions), „Good Bye, Lenin!" (6.5 m), „The Physician" (3.63 m) or „Stromberg" (1.33 m). After receivin numerous awards, the international co-production „Mustang" by director Deniz Gamze Ergüven is currently nominated for the „Oscar", which will be presented this Sunday, on 28 February.

Next generation, start-ups and innovative funding programmes
Ever since its launch, the Film- und Medienstiftung has been particularly involved in supporting the next generation. This includes the founding of the ifs international film school cologne and the Mediengründerzentrum NRW, the funding of graduation films as well as supporting talents through the Gerd Ruge Bursary for documentary filmmakers, the Wim Wenders Scholarship for innovative filmmaking, and the Baumi Script Development Award since this year. Young creatives in the digital scene are the primary goals of the funding programmes for digital and interactive content, innovative serial TV formats and the Web Video Bursary together with the European Web Video Academy.

Presentation and networking
In addition, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW has been working successfully as a funder and location agency in the area of location marketing. It provides information about all of the media hub’s activities,  presents NRW at important industry events like the film festivals in Berlin, Cannes, Locarno, Venice and Toronto as well as at international trade fairs like the MIPCOM, MIPTV, gamescom and dmexco, and supports festivals like the Cologne Conference, Kinofest Lünen, the IFFF Dortmund-Cologne, the German Developers Award or the German Web Video Award. In addition, it is responsible for such events as Filmschauplätze NRW, the NRW Film & Cinema Conference, the NRW Cinema Programming Prize, the Herbert Strate Award, the Hörspielpreis der Kriegsblinden, and many more.

Year of anniversaries in NRW
There are numerous other occasions to celebrate in the media region of NRW this year apart from the anniversary of the Film- und Medienstiftung: 70 years of North Rhine-Westphalia, 25 years of Creative Europe MEDIA, 15 years of the ifs international film school cologne, 15 years of the Gerd Ruge Bursary, 10 years of the Mediengründerzentrum, and five years of the Mediencluster NRW as a subsidiary of the Film- und Medienstiftung.