Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressFilm- und Medienstiftung NRW: 41 million Euros for film and media in NRW in the anniversary year of 2021

Film- und Medienstiftung NRW: 41 million Euros for film and media in NRW in the anniversary year of 2021

  • Box-office hits: "The School of Magical Animals", "Contra", "Femocracy"
  • Star cinema with Nilam Farooq and Emilio Sakraya, Kristen Stewart and Willem Dafoe
  • High-end series: "Oktoberfest 1900", "The Allegation" and "Faking Hitler
  • 22 million for feature films and documentaries and 9.5 million for series and TV films
  • 3 million for development funding, 1.5 million for NRW’s cinemas
  • 4 million for games, web video and digital content
  • 40% of funding to women directors and producers
  • 2022: Two Bears for "Rabiye Kurnaz", a pilot programme for series, and new funding from ZDF

The Film- und Medienstiftung paid out 41 million Euros in its 30th year to  films, high-end series, TV films, games, cinemas, festivals, location projects as well as training and further education. 22 million Euros was invested in production funding for fiction and documentary feature films, a total of 9.5 million Euros for series and TV funding, 1.3 million Euros altogether for project development, and around 1.4 million Euros for distribution and sales. The cinemas in NRW received over 1.5 million Euros, of which 1 million Euros was distributed as cinema programming awards. Festivals and innovative location projects were funded with over 1 million Euros, radio drama with 110,000 Euros. The development and funding of games, web video projects and digital content were supported with 3.4 million Euros. In addition, 1.85 million Euros came from the new Creative Europe MEDIA Programme for projects from North Rhine-Westphalia.

"41 million Euros in funding – that is the highest amount to have been invested in funding activities since the founding of the Film- und Medienstiftung. Despite tougher conditions, films, series and games have thus been realised, combining entertainment with ambition, winning prizes and awards and, above all, inspiring audiences," Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, says. "We would like to thank all film and media professionals, all cinema operators and distributors for their creativity and tireless work in this challenging year. We would like to thank our shareholders and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, in particular, since it played a crucial role in helping to stabilise the film and TV industry through its extensive programme of initiatives to mitigate the effects of the Coronavirus. This has been a great help in making it possible to survive the current crisis together and continue working successfully for the future. To this end, ZDF has kindly already announced that it will increase its contribution for the funding programme."

Box-office hits
Producers and developers showed gratitude in their own way – with strong films, series and games, awards and distinctions. "The School of Magical Animals" (Kordes&Kordes) was the most successful film of the year with over 1.7 million admissions, followed by the culture clash comedy "Contra" (Constantin) with around 760,000 admissions. "Femocracy" (Broadview) was the year’s most successful documentary film and has been seen so far by 175,000 cinema-goers.

Festivals and awards for quality arthouse cinema 
130 funded films were invited to national and international festivals and received over 100 awards. "Je suis Karl" (Pandora Film Produktion) was presented in the Berlinale Summer Special, "Annette" (Detailfilm) opened Cannes and won five Césars, "Spencer" (Komplizenfilm) screened in Venice’s Official Competition, Kristen Stewart was nominated for an Oscar, "No One’s With The Calves" (Weydemann Bros.) and Saskia Rosendahl took the Piazza in Locarno by storm, and "Dear Thomas" (Zeitsprung Pictures) celebrated highly acclaimed premieres in Munich, Cologne and Berlin.

Star cinema with Nilam Farooq, Emilio Sakraya, Kristen Stewart and Willem Dafoe
Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, numerous stars were filming throughout NRW, both in studios and "on location". Pablo Larraín came to Schloss Nordkirchen, among other places, to shoot "Spencer" with Kristen Stewart. Willem Dafoe spent 30 days in front of the camera for Vassilis Katsoupis' "Inside" (Schiwago Film) at the MMC Studios in Cologne. Sönke Wortmann’s latest successful theatrical release, the comedy "Locked-In Society" (Bantry Bay), was shot entirely in NRW with Florian David Fitz, Anke Engelke, Nilam Farooq and Justus von Dohnányi, among others. Shooting Star Emilio Sakraya was cast in the lead role for  Fatih Akin’s "Rheingold" (Bombero) which was shooting in Bonn, Bochum and Cologne.

Record sums for supporting cinemas 
Last year, the Filmstiftung was able to provide around 1.5 million Euros for cinema modernisation programmes, film presentations and cinema programming awards. The Cinema Programming Awards in November saw 74 NRW cinemas from 46 towns and cities receiving the record sum of 1 million Euros, including a special bonus of 10 x 10,000 Euros for cinemas that had devised special measures to hold on to their audiences during the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the regional state government made 15 million Euros available to North Rhine-Westphalian cinemas through the "Film ab NRW" aid programme.

9.5 million Euros for high-end series and TV films
In 2021, 23 series and TV films in development and production were supported with around 9.5 million Euros. "Wild Republic" (Lailaps Pictures) by Markus Goller and Lennart Ruff was presented at the Berlinale Series Market and "The Accusation" (Moovie) by Daniel Prochaska won two awards at CanneSeries. "Oktoberfest 1900" (Zeitsprung Pictures) received the Bavarian and German Television Awards, "Faking Hitler" (Ufa) by Wolfgang Groos and Tobi Baumann and "The Wasp" (Gaumont) by Hermine Huntgeburth premiered at Film Festival Cologne.

10 years of games funding and 3.4 million Euros for games, web video and digital content
The Film- und Medienstiftung’s games funding programme turned 10 In December. To date, 230 projects have been supported with a total of 14 million Euros. Games such as "Hourglass", "White Shadows" or the multi-award-winning indie hit "Omno" were published in 2021. Last year also saw the second intake of the Creator College NRW with nine creator teams. In addition, the Film- und Medienstiftung was a backer of the Youlius Award, the Webvideo Day and YouTopia, a conference on climate change and sustainability.

Young talent, training and further education 
The Filmstiftung supported graduation films, debuts, up-and-coming projects and scholarships with 4.7 million Euros. The ifs internationale filmschule köln launched its MA in "Entertainment Producing" with backing from the Film- und Medienstiftung, and the Mediengründerzentrum initiated a programme for women entrepreneurs called "Sheroes". The ifs established the "European Showrunner Programme" with support from Creative Europe MEDIA and the Filmstiftung and recently presented the initiative at Series Mania in Lille.

Gender and diversity
The Filmstiftung  has seen a steady increase in the proportion of women benefiting from its funding since 2015. In 2021, 36% of funded projects were by women producers and over 40% by women directors. Moreover, it supports the International Women’s* Film Festival Dortmund+Köln, the "Into The Wild" mentoring programme, and the Promotion Award for Young Women Developers in the games sector. The Filmstiftung also supported the studies by the MaLisa Foundation on visibility and diversity in TV, which were presented in Tutzing in March.

Minimum ecological standards 
The Filmstiftung’s supervisory board passed a resolution on 1 January, 2022 introducing mandatory self-disclosure about ecologically sustainable production. In addition, the "Keen to be green" initiative of the regional film funds’ film commissions was continued. The development and introduction of minimum ecological standards that are to be applied nationwide from 01.01.2023 were announced during this year’s Berlinale.

2022: Two Bears for Rabiye Kurnaz, a new series programme and support for Ukrainian filmmakers
Two Silver Bears went to the production "Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush" by Andreas Dresen at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival. The Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance went to Meltem Kaptan, and screenwriter Laila Stieler received the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay. 2022 will see the launching of the pilot programme for the production funding of innovative serial formats, which aims to support young producers and format developers from NRW in particular. In addition, the German film funds came together to  support the "Emergency Fund for Filmmakers" which was set up by the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

For further information: Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Katharina Mueller, +49211-93050-39,


Projects and funding amounts in 2021






Development and scholarships












Series and TV projects



Development serial formats






Digital games and interactive content









Radio drama



Location projects and festivals



Training and further education  


Promotion of German cinema abroad  






Note: Details about all funded projects, including cast and crew, can be found in the annual report.