German Minister for Culture Julian Nida-Ruemelin will have Euros 1.5m more to spend on film funding measures in 2002 as part of a global 3% increase in Gerhard Schroeder administration's arts budget.

The budget for culturally-oriented film funding will increase from Euro 9.7m to Euros 10.7m while German contribution to EURIMAGES is being increased from Euros 3.6m to Euros 4.1m.

Observers believe that part of the increase will be used to fulfil some of the proposals Nida-Ruemelin had set out in his film policy paper last week (Screen Daily, 20 Nov, 2001).

Among other things, the minister announced his intention to raise the number of feature films nominated for the annual German Film Awards from six to eight - which would mean the granting of two more nomination premiums of $179,643 (DM 400,000) Moreover, the two films nominated in the children's film category will now also receive premiums of $112,277 (DM 250,000), with the winning film receiving an additional $112,277 (DM 250,000) on top.

Furthermore, Nida-Ruemelin's expanded budget could be used to increase the $157,193 (DM 350,000) distribution support scheme which was introduced on September 1 for culturally ambitious films with a print run of no more than 25

The Schroeder administration also provides $2.8m-$3.5m (DM 6.2m-DM 7.7m) for film heritage preservation as well as $5.2m (DM 11.6m) for the staging of the Berlin International Film Festival.