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German funds back new projects by Akin, Aladag and Verhoeven

Christmas has come early this year for Germany’s producers as national and regional funds paid out a total of more than €12m production support to such filmmakers as Fatih Akin, Feo Aladag, Rosa von Praunheim and Simon Verhoeven in their last funding sessions for 2012.

The third part of Fatih Akin’s Love, Death and Devil trilogy, The Cut, received €1m from FilmFörderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and €250,000 from the State Minister for Culture (BKM), while Feo Aladag’s second feature, Später im Sommer, was awarded €200,0000 from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. The war drama set in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region will be produced by Independent Artists with Geissendörfer Film- und Fernsehproduktion.

Meanwhile, actor-director Simon Verhoeven is joining forces with Philip Koch to write and direct the psychological horror film Unknown Error, to be produced by The Lives Of Others’ Wiedemann & Berg Film, was allocated €500,000 by Munich-based FFF Bayern, which also backed actor Josef Bierbichler’s directorial debut Mittelreich and Marcus H. Rosenmüller’s biopic Trautmann about the legendary German goalkeeper Bernhard „Bert“ Trautmann, who played for Manchester City from 1949 to 1964.

The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW gave its highest sum - €700,000 – to Arne Feldhusen’s Stromberg – Der Film which will bring Germany’s answer to The Office to the big screen with Christoph Maria Herbst reprising his role as the incompetent boss of a German insurance office. The Brainpool TV production had already been awarded €320,000 from the German Federal Film Board (FFA) and raised €1m from the series’ fans via crowdfunding in just one week at the end of 2011. NFP will release Stromberg theatrically.

The Düsseldorf-based fund also supported producer Sigrid Hoerner’s directorial debut Miss Sixty, starring Iris Berben and Jesper Christensen, as a co-production between Moneypenny Film and Bavaria Pictures; and sales agent The Match Factory’s co-production of the Cypriot Greek filmmaker Yannis Economides’ film noir The Six-Fingered Man, which will be produced with Greek production houses Argonauts and Faliro House.

In addition, Frankfurt’s Hessen Film Fund gave backing in its last round to Rosa von Praunheim for a new documentary Praunheim Memories where he will re-visit old haunts in the Frankfurt suburb where he spent his childhood and youth.

Meanwhile, Germany’s incentive programme DFFF had backed 100 projects with a total of €48.1m between January 1, 2012 and the beginning of December.

Recent productions supported by the scheme, which has been extended for another three years until December 31, 2015, have included the animation film 7 Zwerge – Der 7bte Zwerg, Lulu Wang’s feelgood comedy Posthumous, Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man, Christian Schwochow’s Lagerfeuer, and Bernard Rose’s biopic Paganini. (ends)

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