She replaces Michael Schmid Ospach as the head of the film fund.

Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg’s co-managing director Petra Müller has at last been officially named as the successor to Michael Schmid-Ospach as the head of Germany’s richest regional film fund Filmstiftung NRW after weeks of rumour and counter-rumour circulating about the likely candidate.

Müller will take up her post at Filmstiftung NRW in Düsseldorf from this August. She has worked since January 2004 as one of the managing directors of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg with responsibilities for the strategy, marketing, communication and presentation of Berlin-Brandenburg as a media location and funding of innovative audiovisual content.

According to industry figures in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the prospects of Müller being appointed had been welcomed by many since it was felt that measures to market and promote the region as an attractive shooting location had not been given sufficient attention in recent years. NRW producers had looked with envy at Müller’s achievements in making the Berlin-Brandenburg region a leading European production hub.

“Petra Müller enjoys an excellent reputation in the industry,” NRW’s Media Minister Armin Laschet said about her appointment. “She is eminently suited to be able to strengthen North Rhine-Westphalia’s leading position as a film and media hub.”

Schmid-Ospach’s contract came to an end on March 31 shortly before his 65th birthday after nine years as the managing director of Filmstiftung NRW. The deputy managing director Claudia Droste-Deselaers will be responsible for running the fund until Müller takes up her post.

Filmstiftung NRW has two funded films – Christoph Hochhäusler’s The City Below (Unter dir die Stadt) and Oliver Schmitz’s Life, Above All – premiering in Cannes’s Un Certain regard section.