Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNewsSuccessful results of the expansion in regional strategy for North Rhine-Westphalia

Successful results of the expansion in regional strategy for North Rhine-Westphalia

Funding attracts international film productions to the region and develops digital hub

  • Funding: 32.8m Euros for 385 projects, including 26.8m Euros for 99 films, 225% regional effect
  • International stars: Ron Howard, Lars von Trier and Jim Jarmusch, Tilda Swinton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Uma Thurman and Sir Ben Kingsley, and many more
  • 2.4m Euros cinema funding
  • New funding programmes: innovative content, entertainment, innovation programme for digital media
  • New projects and events: UFA Lab NRW, Advance, Cinema Conference, Newcomers' Day
  • International presentations: International Emmys, MIPCOM, MIPTV, FilmCup Brazil, film festivals in Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Toronto


Film- und Medienstiftung’s CEO Petra Müller

The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW funded around 385 projects with 32.8m Euros in the year that is currently drawing to a close. This included 99 film projects funded with 26.8m Euros which triggered an overall regional effect of 225%. Alongside the funding of film and TV projects, the new funding programmes – for innovative audiovisual content and entertainment formats – were launched during 2012 as well as the first funding sessions for the federal state’s programme for „Digital Media“, which committed an additional 1.5m Euros for project funding and 1.02m Euros for cinema digitisation throughout NRW. In total, the Filmstiftung and the Land consequently provided NRW’s film and media industries with around 35.3m Euros for the realisation of their ideas and projects in film, TV, cinema and new media.

„The expansion of NRW’s location and funding strategies in the areas of film and media is bearing fruit. We can look back on a successful 2012 where German and international film stars were literally coming and going all the time. The new funding programmes are already showing results in the development of the digital hub, and, not least of all, the international presence and perception of NRW as a film and media region could be significantly intensified,“ says Petra Müller, managing director of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „We thank our shareholders for their trust, all of the partners for being such good colleagues, and all of the companies and applicants for their ideas and projects.“

Films, awards, shoots
The fact that 2012 wasn’t an easy year for German films despite a market share of approx. 20% at the box office can be seen by a cursory glance at the cinema charts. The most successful film with Filmstiftung involvement in 2012 is „Cloud Atlas“ by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings (currently at 875,000 admissions), followed by the comedies „Offroad“, „Agent Ranjid“ (both 415,000) and „Heiter bis wolkig“ (309,000).

It was particularly gratifying to see the Oscar nomination for „Pina“, which clocked up over half a million admissions and received numerous awards, or the success of Corinna Belz’s „Gerhard Richter Painting“, which was in the cinemas for 52 weeks, was seen by 95,000 cinema-goers and received the German Film Prize. Not to forget the Student Oscar for the ifs graduation film by Elmar Imanov, „Die Schaukel des Sargmachers“, and the strong festival presence: 40 NRW-funded films could be seen at the Berlinale and in Cannes, Locarno, Toronto, Montreal, etc..

The NRW-funded TV highlights broadcast during this year included, among others, Til Endemann’s German army drama „Auslandseinsatz“ (ARD) and „Im Jahr des Drachen“ (ARD) by Torsten C. Fischer, or „Helden“ by Hansjörg Thurn. And 2013 will begin on 6 January with the TV premiere of the lavish ZDF three-parter „Adlon“ by Uli Edel.

No doubt about it – 2012 was the year of international co-productions and international stars: Oscar winners like Ron Howard („Rush“), Caroline Link („Exit Marrakech“) or Xavier Koller („Die schwarzen Brüder“), such arthouse directors as Lars von Trier and Jim Jarmusch. Stars like Sir Ben Kingsley, Olivier Martinez, Uma Thurman, Charlotte Gainsbourg – they shot in studios and on location for 900 days and not only made 2012 a special production year in NRW for its producers and service-providers.

Meanwhile, 2012 once again saw the whole range of film genres being supported: literature adaptations such as Julia Franck’s „Lagerfeuer“, Ralf Husmann’s „Nicht mein Tag“, Martin Suter’s „Der Koch“ or Charlotte Roche’s „Schoßgebete“, comedies like „00 Schneider – Im Zeichen der Eidechse“, „Stromberg“ or „Jesus liebt mich“, children’s films like „Petterson und Findus“, „Die Abenteuer des Huck Finn“ or „Pinocchio“, documentary projects like „Die Dirk Nowitzki Story“ or „Die Gentlemen baten zur Kasse“ as well as promising   newcomer films like „Vergiss mein Ich“ by Jan Schomburg.

A total of 2.4m Euros was allocated as cinema funding for such measures as digitisation, modernisation and programme premiums. And the presentation of the cinema programme awards at Cologne’s Rheinterrassen now belong – together with the Kinofest Lünen – to the highlights of NRW’s festival autumn season. 

Digital hub development
The expansion of the remit for the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW now includes the development of a digital strategy for the production hub and corresponding funding instruments. 20 projects from the areas of games, mobile, web 2.0 and 360º were supported with a total of 635,000 Euros in the pilot funding programme for innovative audiovisual content, which was introduced in 2011.  In addition, the UFA Lab NRW was established in Cologne as an open innovation platform for digital developers and start-ups.

Moreover, nine project ideas were recommended for 1.5m Euros funding within the framework of the „Digital Media“ innovation programme. The Mediencluster NRW is working in close cooperation with the Film- und Medienstiftung in the field of digital media, offers advice to applicants on the federal state’s funding programme, and is responsible for the organisation of the successful ADVANCE conference where internet start-ups and investors came together for a pitching day. gamescom and dmexco, the German Web Video Prize and the German Developers' Award have since become a must for the internet and games scene. 

Location marketing, presentation and networking
In addition to the opening-up of funding for new media, the Film- und Medienstiftung now provides comprehensive information on all media activities and presents the media region of NRW at home and abroad. This year, for example, saw participation at the film festivals of Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Locarno and Toronto as well as the Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles, the International Emmys, MIPTV and MIPCOM, the FilmCup in Sao Paulo, the Toulouse Cartoon Forum or IDFA in Amsterdam. Moreover, the Filmstiftung and Mediencluster NRW joined forces with the City of Cologne to present the media region of NRW at dmexco and gamescom, and the film funder is responsible for the Film Conference as part of the Medienforum.NRW, the Newcomers' Day as well as the newly developed Film and Cinema Conference in the run-up to the Cinema Programme Prize’s ceremony. The well attended events not only raise the awareness of the media hub, but also promote the necessary networking of the NRW entrepreneurs and players. 

Development of the company and shareholdings 
In 2012, the foundation’s expansion into an integrated funding institution was successfully completed. Funding, communication and marketing could be expanded as part of the realignment and the collaboration with the associated companies intensified. The Mediencluster and the Gründerzentrum could both be successfully reorganised under new management, and the ifs was able to supplement its range of courses with such innovative programmes as digital films arts, interactive and serial storytelling.