The German government is tocreate a venture capital fund with a total volume of Euros 90m to support theGerman film industry over the next three years.

The funding instrument wasthe result of discussions between a specially convened working group of theFederal Chancellery and the Finance Ministry (ScreenDaily, May 4 2005). Itfollows the shock decision last week to ban old style German media funds.

"This is a good interimresulton the way to strengthening the capital base of the successfulGerman film producers," State Minister for Culture Christina Weissannounced. "If things continue to look up for the German cinema, one mayexpect that recoupment from successful productions will boost the fund."

She explained that detailsabout the allocation of the fund's monies would now be clarified within aworking group, but she expected that the procedure to be as unbureaucratic aspossible.

Stressing the commitment ofthe Gerhard Schroeder administration for the interests of the German filmindustry, Weiss pointed out that "in spite of major budgetary problems, wehave succeeded in granting this growth industry the support it needs to buildon its success."

She added that there was a general consensus among the representativesfrom the government and the film industry that they now needed to focus onsolving the problem of the permanent establishment (the so-called"Betriebsstaettenproblematik) in the Media Decree. "It is now amatter of creating as good as possible conditions for co-productions,"Weiss said.