Germany's private media funds are showing increasinginterest in backing local feature production and dispelling the belief that theprivate equity they raise flows only as 'stupid German money' intoHollywood productions.

As part of a move to work more closely on local features,Munich-based fund VIP Group has begun collaborating with the German DirectorsGuild (BVR - Bundesverband Regie). VIP has produced films including Monster,The Punisher and German comedy Sieben Zwerge - Maenner Allein Im Wald.

Thecooperation between BVR and VIP will involve the fund analysing projects fromthe Guild's members and producing them if they fulfil the fund's selectionparameters.

'We want to create a platform, a marketplace forfilmmakers and financiers,' said Eberhard Hauff, BVR board member.'Instead of simply just criticising the fact that German investors financeHollywood films, one must create the prerequisites for a continuous increase inGerman films of international calibre through a 'dialogue of the makers'.'

Hauff, who was elected at the end of May as one of the threemembers of the VIP 4 fund's investor advisory board, stressed that 'mediafund initiators not only bring money, but also lots of know how aboutinternational film production and film distribution.'