Film- und Medienstiftung NRW: funding in 2018
- 86 million Euros for 376 projects, incl. 59 feature films, 13 series and TV projects, 15 games projects
- box-office successes with German arthouse and family entertainment: „That Boy Needs Fresh Air, „How About Adolf?“, „25 km/h“, „Gundermann“, „Help, I Shrunk My Parents“
- Spectacular series and mini-series: „Babylon Berlin“, „Parfum“, „Wishlist 2.0“ and „Gladbeck“
- 120 prizes and distinctions for first-class arthouse: „The Heiresses“, „Styx“, „Lost Ones“, and many more
- Over 150 films at 130 festivals: incl. Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Locarno, Venice, Toronto
- Strong games events: Clash of Realities, Gamification Day, StreamCon, Womenize! Developer Prize
- Increase in funding by 3 million Euros from the State of NRW for 2019
- Represented at the 2019 Berlinale with 34 funded productions: 19 in the official festival sections, 15 in the Lola@Berlinale sidebar
The Film- und Medienstiftung funded a total of 376 projects in 2018 with 35.86 million Euros for the development, production and exploitation of films, series, games and online content. Of this, 21.4 million Euros was allocated to 59 feature films and 7.9 million Euros to 13 series and TV events, around 529,000 Euros to screenplay and project development as well as development bursaries, 1.7 million Euros to distribution and sales, 1.7 million Euros for innovative funding programmes as well as the development of 26 games and formats. Moreover, 27 festivals, film presentations and location projects were supported with 892,000 Euros. The Filmstiftung also made 1.06 million Euros available for education and training measures, while almost 1.79 million Euros funding came to NRW from the Creative Europe programme.
„Working in tandem with the federal state and the broadcaster shareholders as well as producers and creatives, the Film- und Medienstiftung was able give a significant boost to NRW’s development as a film and media hub in 2018. By increasing its funding by 3 million Euros, the federal state sent a clear signal of its desire to give a boost to the film, TV and games industry in NRW. With this tailwind and more focused funding principles, we can be even more effective in future in supporting producers and creatives of the film and media sectors,“ says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „We are looking forward to 34 funded films at the Berlinale and keeping our fingers crossed for ‘Never Look Away’ at the Oscar ceremony at the end of February.“
Cinema: success with German productions and family entertainment
In 2018, it was primarily German productions that made an impact at the box-office. „How About Adolf?“ by Sönke Wortmann (scr: Claudius Pläging / Constantin) posted 1.1 million admissions, „25 km/h“ by director Markus Goller (scr: Oliver Ziegenbalg / Sunnysideup) almost 930,000 admissions. „That Boy Needs Fresh Air“ by Caroline Link (scr: Ruth Toma / UFA Fiction, Feine Filme, Warner) had an exceptionally successful opening and has already been seen by around 2.8 million cinema-goers. Other sure-fire hits with audiences were children’s films like „Help, I Shrunk My Parents“ by Tim Trageser (scr: Gerrit Hermanns / Karibufilm) or „Pettson and Findus 3: Findus Moves Out“ by Ali Samadi Ahadi (scr: Thomas Springer / Tradewind Pictures). „Gundermann“ by Andreas Dresen (scr: Laila Stieler / Pandora, Kineo) was a success in the arthouse sector with 344,000 admissions.
In 2018, over 150 funded productions screened at around 150 festivals and won over 120 prizes and distinctions. At the Berlinale, Marcelo Martinessi’s „The Heiresses“ received two Silver Bears. „In The Fade“ by Fatih Akin picked up a Golden Globe and two Lolas. This latter award was also received for „Beuys“ by Andres Veiel. Prize-winners at numerous festivals at home and abroad included Wolfgang Fischer’s refugee drama „Styx“, Jan Bonny’s „Germany. A Winter’s Tale“ and Claire Denis’ „High Life“. „Never Look Away“ by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck had its world premiere in Venice and is currently nominated for the Oscars. „A Woman Captured“ by Bernadett Tuza-Ritter had its world premiere in Sundance and was nominated as Best Documentary for the European Film Awards. 32 funded films screened at the Berlinale in 2018, while no less than nine NRW films were featured in Toronto, including six world premieres. Funded productions could also be seen at the international film festivals in Cannes, Rotterdam, Sundance, Venice, Locarno, Busan and San Sebastian.
Spectacular series and mini-series
The TV year in 2018 also had its fair share of Filmstiftung-backed highlights. The autumn saw the exceptional series „Babylon Berlin“ having its widely acclaimed premiere on ARD, „Parfum“ posted pleasing ratings for ZDFneo towards the end of the year and was also sold to Netflix. Meanwhile, the two-parter „Gladbeck“ picked up top audience ratings in its primetime slot in the spring. In December, Arte showed the Filmstiftung-backed two-parter „Die Steinkohle“ by Jobst Knigge and Manfred Oldenburg. Looking ahead, March will see the airing of „Brecht“ which is premiering at this year’s Berlinale and is the latest Filmstiftung-backed mini-series by Heinrich Breloer. The improvisation series „Other Parents“ was shot in the style of a mockumentary in Cologne during the summer, while the Bauhaus series „Bauhaus – A New Age“ came to the MMC studios to shoot in the autumn. The web series „Wishlist 2.0“ was successfully launched online and is currently nominated for the Grimme Prize.
Games, Web, VR – more funding, better networking and a new guideline
The development of games and innovative audiovisual content was supported with a total of 1 million Euros for 15 projects. There were numerous important events in NRW like the Clash of Realities conference, the Next Level Festival and the German Developers Prize, the Gamification Day, Womenize! or StreamCon alongside the world’s largest games trade fair gamescom. The federal state also sent a clear signal of its desire to bolster the region’s interactive development by holding the first Games Summit in the State Chancellery, increasing the funding for games to 1.5 million Euros in 2018 and by another 1.5 million Euros in 2019, and introducing a new guideline for games. The new guideline for the funding of digital games and interactive content makes its possible for the Film- und Medienstiftung to fund the production of computer and video games from 2019, alongside the development funding programme which was introduced in 2011.
Diverse film events, festivals and conferences
The Film Festival Cologne extended its reputation as a central meeting place for the industry and one of the most important audience festivals in NRW. The festival provided the backdrop for the launch of a unique market platform for Germany, European Work in Progress, which is aiming to considerably improve the marketability and exploitation of German and international arthouse films. The NRW Festival Autumn followed with over 20 festivals and professional events throughout the region attracting cineastes and the film industry: these included the Duisburger Filmwoche, Kinofest Lünen and the Filmplus Festival. In addition, the International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund Cologne was an important showcase for filmmakers, and the third NRW Docuday was held in Cologne in June.
Last year, the Filmstiftung provided a total of 1.06 million Euros for cinema modernisation, funding film presentations and the NRW Cinema Programming Awards. These awards in November saw 64 NRW cinemas from 39 towns receiving 450,000 Euros, an amount unrivalled anywhere else in Germany.
Preview for 2019
NRW’s state parliament passes budget increase for Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
With the adoption of the 2019 budget at the end of 2018, the NRW state parliament agreed to increase funding for the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW by 3 million Euros per annum. The budget increase means that an additional 1.5 million Euros has been available since 1 January, 2019 for supporting films and series, of which 300,000 Euros are for the Simplified Funding programme, and there is a doubling of the funding for games to 3 million Euros per annum. The federal state of NRW had already increased its year-on-year funding for the Film- und Medienstiftung at the beginning of 2018 by 2.5 million Euros, and its contribution will now stand at 17.5 million Euros from 2019, the highest since the founding of the Filmstiftung in 1991.
Bringing funding principles into better focus
The shareholders and the supervisory board of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW adopted principles in May for the future direction of its funding. The aim is to enhance the quality of the funded projects, their market and economic success, their artistic excellence as well as their quantative and qualitative regional effect. They came into effect on 1.1.2019.
Start to a promising year for film and media
The year for film and media started off well in 2019: there were awards in Saarbrücken, Rotterdam and Sundance and „That Boy Needs Fresh Air“ has been currently enjoying a successful run in the cinemas. Other releases include „Mia et le lion blanc“ by Gilles de Maistre (scr: William Davies) and „Red Bracelets – The Beginning“ by Felix Binder (scr: Jan Martin Scharf, Arne Nolting).
The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW is represented with a total of 34 funded productions at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, 19 in the official festival sections and 15 in the Lola@Berlinale sidebar. „The Operative“ with Diane Kruger (Match Factory Productions) is screening in Competition (out of competition), while „easy love“ (Lichtblick Film) is opening Perspektive Deutsches Kino and „Cleo“ (Detailfilm) is kicking off Generation Kplus. Moreover, the Filmstiftung is the Main Partner of the Drama Series Days for the fifth year running.