The newly created interest group for Germany's media funds, Verband Deutscher Medienfonds (VDM) has responded to criticism from Culture Minister Julian Nida-Ruemelin and film industry figures that monies raised by the funds flow wholesale into US major studio productions.

High-profile US productions that have tapped German equity funds include: The Fast And The Furious, Shallow Hal and the forthcoming The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

However, citing the example of the six film funds placed by ApolloMedia which has produced 36 feature and TV films with overall production costs of almost Euros 500m, VDM pointed out that Euros 120m had been spent in Germany and another Euros 245m in the rest of the European Union.

VDM stated: "Especially in the light of the current difficulties of the German media landscape, the politicians ought to recognise that media funds make a substantial contribution to the German film industry. Alone through the ApolloMedia funds some 2,000 - 3,000 jobs are secured in the German film industry".

Recent ApolloMedia German- or European-based projects include Peter Hyams' The Musketeer, shot in Luxembourg, France and Germany; Michael Bassett's First World War horror thriller Deathwatch, shot in and around Prague; Tom Reeve's Luxembourg-based family action adventure George And The Dragon; and Ole Bornedal's Euros 15m drama I Am Dina.