Father Christmas did not forget the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) and Filmfoerderung Hamburg Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH) as local politicians have decided to increase their financial commitment to their respective funds.
The federal state of Brandenburg provided an additional$2.2m (Euros 1.5m) for MBB's 2007 budget, bringing the final total to $42.3m (Euros 28.7m).
The additional injection of cash enabled the funder to support such projects as Michael Haneke's next feature Das Weisse Band, which will be shot on location in a village in Brandenburg in the summer, Roland Suso Richter's TV movie Mogadishu Welcome, and Cyril Tuschi's documentary Rise and Fall of Mikhail B. Khodorovsky as well as such measures as Cartoon Movie 2008 and the Sehsuechte students' film festival.
This decision by Brandenburg came after Medienboard co-managing director Kirsten Niehuus announced that MBB investment in film projects in 2007 had generated an economic 'regional effect' of around 450% expenditure in the region compared to an average 300% achieved in past years (i.e. for each Euro allocated by the fund to a project, 4.5 Euros were spent in the Berlin-Brandenburg region)
Meanwhile, Hamburg's Mayor Ole von Beust has announced that his city will increase its financial contribution to its local public film fund FFHSH by $1.5m (Euros 1m) for 2008 and 2009 and then by $3m (Euros 2m) in 2010. In addition, an official specifically responsible for media affairs will be appointed and report directly to the senate chancellery.
Commenting on von Beust's announcement ahead of forthcoming city elections, the fund's managing director Eva Hubert said that 'the media initiative helps the film hub to really position itself again' and described the appointment of an official for media affairs as 'overdue. Now we are on the right track again.'According to the local press, the new mood of optimism in the Hamburg film scene has prompted Studio Hamburg's managing director Martin Willich to consider building a new sound stage at its Tonndorf lot or at the new Hafencity development. Studio Hamburg is currently behind the construction of a $15.6m (Euros 10.6m) 2,400-square-metre studio for film production at its Berlin base at the Adlershof studios.