The city ofBerlin is to launch a $3.8m (Euros 3m)Bank Fund to support the production and distribution of film productions fromthe region from 2007.

Berlin's Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit announced the new initiative at the beginning ofthis week's Medienforum Berlin-Brandenburg,explaining that the fund would be financed by the city of Berlin and the LandesbankBerlin.

In thepreparations for the fund, the Berlin Senate has been able to draw on the experiencesof the Bavarian Bank Fund (BBF), which was launched in 2000 by four Bavarianbanks to provide additional film financing for production and distribution. BBFrecently supported the theatrical releases of The Wild Soccer Bunch 3 and TheRobber Hotzenplotz, and the production of thefamily film Herr Belloand the comedy Neues Vom Wixxer.

Producersin Berlin and Brandenburg have another reason to be cheerful after the newsthat the local public broadcaster RundfunkBerlin-Brandenburg (RBB) decided this week to increase its annual support tothe Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) by 50% to $1.9m(Euros 1.5m) for the backing of cinema-TV co-productions.

Decisionson the allocation of the $1.9m are taken jointly by RBB and MBB and benefitproductions that have a special connection to the capital and Brandenburg, with the focus on feature films ordocumentaries that have the potential to be attractive for both a cinema andtelevision audience.

Sincesigning the initial agreement with Medienboard lastyear, RBB has been involved in supporting 17 projects, including Martin Gypkens' globetrotting drama Nothing But Ghosts, Jan Schuette's IsaacB. Singer adaptation Old Love, and UweJanson's children's film Kalif Storch.