Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressFilm- und Medienstiftung NRW: 2015 in review

Film- und Medienstiftung NRW: 2015 in review

  • 33.6 million Euros for 406 projects, of which 19.7 million were for 73 feature films, 7.2 million for 10 extraordinary TV projects
  • 2.5 million for 36 documentaries, 4.7 million for newcomers and young cinema
  • A strong year for shooting: „The Diary of Anne Frank“, „Paula“, „Young Light“ „Gotthard“, „Winnetou“ (working title), and many more
  • Success in the cinemas with comedies: „Look Who’s Back“, „Ms Mueller Must Go“, „Help, I Shrunk My Teacher“
  • Film prizes for „Age of Cannibals“, „A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence…“, „The People Versus Fritz Bauer“, „Mustang“
  • Over 20 films funded by NRW at the 2016 Berlinale: „Alone In Berlin“ in the Competition
  • 1.4 million Euros for innovative content, games, apps, web content, TV formats and location projects
  • Strong events for the location: Media Forum NRW, gamescom, dmexco, Cologne Conference, NRW Film and Cinema Conference
  • Strong international presence: Rotterdam, Cannes, Locarno, Venice, Toronto, MIP, International Emmys
  • Wim Wenders Year: Homage, Honorary Bear, exhibition, directors lounge, Wim Wenders Scholarship
  • 25 years of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW: anniversary year kicks off with Oscar nomination for „Mustang“

CEO Petra Müller (r.) and Christina Bentlage, Head of Film Funding © Anna Kaduk / Film- und Medienstiftung NRW

2015 saw the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW operating now in its fifth year as a funder and location agency for the film and media region of NRW. It supported a total of 406 projects with around 33.6 million Euros and thus continues to be the financially most powerful German regional fund despite budget cuts. In addition, over 1 million Euros (1.065.590 Euros) flowed into NRW’s film and media industry via the Creative Europe Programme and around 7 million Euros via the Create Media NRW competition so that some 40 million Euros funding could be made available for film and media in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Film- und Medienstiftung was responsible for location marketing and development through in-house and supported events, festival and market presences at home and abroad as well as extensive PR activities.

„The year in cinema during 2015 was characterised by successful comedies in the cinemas, numerous film shoots as well as a strong presence of Filmstiftung-backed arthouse productions at national and international festivals. Innovative funding programmes and bursaries gave a boost to the young film and media scene, prestigious events, trade fairs and festivals gathered the film and media industry in NRW“, says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „After five years as an integrated funding institution, we can state that the national and international awareness of NRW as a leading film and media hub is as strong as ever. The Film- und Medienstiftung acts as a reliable partner for the industry and an important trendsetter for developing media and the region. It is also important to secure and consolidate this position in the anniversary year..“

Good effects with a funding profile
The production of 123 film and TV projects were supported with 27.7 million Euros, generating an NRW effect of around 65 million Euros (230 %). Around 20 million Euros went to 73 theatrical productions such as „Young Light“, „The Odd Couple“ or „Original Bliss“ and 7.2 million Euros to 10 extraordinary TV projects, including the lavish series project „Babylon Berlin“ by Tom Tykwer, Hendrik Handloegten and Achim von Borries. 7.27 million Euros was allocated to international co-productions, documentaries received 2.5 million Euros support, and 4.7 million Euros was invested in the funding of newcomer projects, debuts and the graduation films programme. In addition, 7 films for children and young people were supported with a total of 2.86 million Euros, including „Vampire Sisters 3“ and „Emerald Green“. The development of innovative content and games, TV formats and location projects was backed with 1.4 million Euros. Overall, the focus of funding and film shoots was on German productions in 2015.

Strong year for film shoots
2015 was an extraordinarily strong year for film shoots in NRW. Around 1.000 shooting days on such large-scale productions as „The Diary of Anne Frank“ with Martina Gedeck, „Alone In Berlin“ with Emma Thompson, „The Lion Woman“ with Rolf Lassgård and Ken Duken, „Paula“ with Carla Juri, „Gotthard“ with Joachim Król and „Winnetou“ with Wotan Wilke Möhring ensured that NRW could keep its studios busy and demonstrate its outstanding expertise in set construction as well as production and costume design. Moreover, the shoots of such films as „Radio Heimat“ und „Young Light“ with Charly Hübner made it quite clear what a great potential for stories and locations are on offer in the Ruhr region.

Stars and major premieres
2015 saw numerous major premiere events coming to NRW. The distributors organised lavish public events with many stars among the more than 1,000 premiere guests for the releases of „Ms Mueller Must Go“, „Ghost Hunters – On Icy Trails“, „Half Brothers“, „Help, I Shrunk My Teacher“, „Mara and the Firebringer“ or „The People Versus Fritz Bauer“. Last year saw a total of 66 film premieres being held before the films started their theatrical runs. Prominent actors like Daniel Brühl, Moritz Bleibtreu, Fahri Yardim, Burghart Klaußner, Christiane Paul, Ronald Zehrfeld, Christian Ulmen, Frederick Lau, Aylin Tetzel, Ulrich Tukur or Anke Engelke could be seen at film shoots and premieres. In addition, there were numerous other film presentations as part of film seasons and festivals such as the Cologne Conference where the multi-award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino received the Cologne Film Award; other guests or prize-winners were Tom Tykwer, Joshua Oppenheimer and Nora von Waldstätten.

Box office and film awards
The most successful Filmstiftung-backed films released during 2015 included comedies like „Look Who’s Back“ (total 2.4 million admissions), „Ms Mueller Must Go“ (1.15 million), „Help, I Shrunk My Teacher“ (over 800,000 since its release, with 596.000 in 2015) or arthouse productions such as „The People Versus Fritz Bauer“ (245.000) or „A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence…“ (114.000). Funded productions picked up numerous awards at the major international film festivals. „The People Versus Fritz Bauer“ received, among others, the Audience Award in Locarno, and lead actor Burghart Klaußner was presented with the Bavarian Film Prize. The prizes for „Babai“ included one for Best Director in Karlovy Vary. „Age of Cannibals“ and „Beloved Sisters“ received two Lolas apiece. The French-German-Turkish co-produced debut „Mustang“ was shown at several festivals after Cannes, it received the European Film Award, a Golden Globe nomination, the Europa Cinemas Label in Cannes, the LUX Film Prize of the European Parliament and is currently nominated for the Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film.

Festivals and international presence: Rotterdam, Berlinale, Cannes, Locarno, Venice, Toronto, MIP
The film region of NRW was represented at leading festivals around the globe during 2015. In Rotterdam, the Filmstiftung was a partner of the CineMart and had seven films in the festival’s programme. 29 supported films screened at the Berlinale, including two in the Competition, and the Filmstiftung was a founding partner of the „Drama Series Days“, the newly created platform for the presentation and distribution of high-quality series at the European Film Market. Following the great success last year, the cooperation is being continued this February and has been extended to include documentary series. Festival favourite „Mustang“ had its world premiere during the Cannes Film Festival, and the Cologne producer Ingmar Trost, Sutor Kolonko Filmproduktion, represented Germany in „Producers on the Move“. NRW had two films screening at both Locarno and Venice. Eight funded productions were shown in Toronto, North America’s most important film market. Moreover, the Filmstiftung staged industry get-togethers at the major film festivals as well as the TV markets of MIPCOM and MIPTV and at the International Emmy Festival in New York. This provided a platform for networking and initiatives for the industry.

Media Sommer, Media Forum NRW, FilmSchauPlätze NRW
The programme of summer events kicked off with the Media Forum NRW asking „What’s next?“ in order to discuss current developments in television, journalism, entertainment and radio, and organise showcases of innovative formats, platforms and technologies. The RTL reception, the Film- und Medienstiftung’s industry gathering, the Interactive Cologne and the German Web Video Award were also part of a great week for media to coincide with the ANGA COM. This was followed by the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, the Emmy Semi-Final Judgings, the German Camera Award or the 18th FilmSchauPlätze NRW with a new record attendance.

Film Autumn, NRW Film & Cinema Conference, 25th NRW Cinema Programming Prize
The autumn also saw the Filmstiftung continuing its successful work in the promotion and development of festivals and events connected with film and cinema. This included such professional events as the NRW Film & Cinema Conference or Filmplus. The NRW Cinema Programming Prize was awarded in Cologne’s Gloria Theater for the 25th time. Cineastes and the film industry mingled at festivals and events such as CineCologne, the Duisburg Film Week, Kinofest Lünen or the NRW Cinema Day.

Digital NRW
The world’s largest games trade fair gamescom
(345.000 visitors and over 800 exhibitors) and one of the most important digital trade fairs dmexco (43.000 visitors, 880 exhibitors) – where the media region of NRW had a presence with a stand at both events – came up trumps again in 2015 with substantial increases in the numbers of visitors and exhibitors. More than 15.000 Youtubers came together at the VideoDays in Cologne, and the Filmstiftung-backed web series „TubeHeads“ won the Play Award. The Filmstiftung-backed 5th German Web Video Awards with artists like Gronkh or Simon Unge were broadcast live on television for the first time. In addition, the Filmstiftung awarded Europe’s first web video bursary to support the still young, yet growing sector in Germany’s leading hub for web videos.

Wim Wenders Year
Wenders' films could be seen around the globe in numerous retrospectives and film seasons (incl. the MoMa, Düsseldorf Film Museum) to mark his 70th birthday in August 2015. The Berlinale honoured Wenders with an homage and the Golden Honorary Bear. A highly regarded exhibition of his photographs was shown at the NRW Forum in Düsseldorf, and the director presented a selection of his commercials for the first time at the 50th Directors Lounge. In June, six young filmmakers received the Wim Wenders Scholarship which was initiated by the Filmstiftung and the Wim Wenders Foundation, The Foundation has been based in Düsseldorf since 2012.

Outlook for 2016: the anniversary
2016 also started very promisingly: „Mustang“ received an Oscar nomination. The film region of NRW has 13 newcomer films at the Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival in Saarbrücken, and there are over 20 films in the various sections of the Berlinale, including the international co-production „Alone In Berlin“ (Dir: Vincent Perez, producer: X Filme, with Emma Thompson, Daniel Brühl, Brendan Gleeson) in the Competition. Other NRW-backed productions, such as „Wild“ by Nicolette Krebitz (Heimatfilm), are being shown at the end of January at the Sundance Film Festival and the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

„2016 is a special year for NRW: the federal state will turn 70, the Film- und Medienstiftung celebrates its 25th anniversary, the ifs its 15th, the Mediengründerzentrum is 10 years in business, and the Mediencluster has its 5th anniversary as a subsidiary of the Filmstiftung. All of them are a welcome excuse to look back and take stock. It is more important for us to look ahead in order to accompany the film and media hub of North Rhine-Westphalia with success in a rapidly changing media environment“, says Petra Muller. „We will celebrate the anniversary in the summer during the Media Forum. But, first of all, we’re looking forward to the Berlinale!“

The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW was founded on 27 February, 1991. At the first session of the funding committee in April 1991, support was granted to, among others, the later Oscar-nominated film „Schtonk“ by Helmut Dietl. Some 7,300 projects received funding totalling 742 million Euros up to the committee’s 150th session in spring 2015, including such successful film and TV productions as „Run Lola Run“ (1998, 2.3 million admissions), „Manitou’s Shoe“ (2001, 11.7 million), „The Manns – A Novel of the Century“ (2001, 4.3 million), „Amélie From Montmartre“ (2001, 3.2 million), „Good Bye, Lenin!“ (2003, 6.6 million), „The Miracle of Bern“ (2003, 3.7 million), „Into Great Silence“ (2005, 194.000), „Dresden“ (2006, 12 million), „The Reader“ (2009, 2.2 million), „Pina“(2011, 513.000), „Melancholia“ (2011, 279.000), „Generation War“ (2013, 7.2 million), „Rush“ (2013, 548.000) „The Physician“ (2013, 3.6 million) or „Stromberg – Der Film“ (2014, 1.3 million).

The Film- und Medienstiftung has been working as an integrated funding institution since 2011 and serves as a central port of call for all those working in the media in NRW. At the same time, new funding instruments were developed for innovative and interactive content, and new networking opportunities and communication platforms were created in close liaison with the associated companies.