The German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) has paid out $11.5m (€8m) to major international projects by Roland Emmerich and Jaume Collet-Serra.
The films, which will receive $5.7m (€4m) each, are among 104 projects to be awarded a total of $86.3m (€59.6m) over 2009. This included 76 features, 24 documetaries and four animation films.
Emmerich’s political thriller Anonymous, about the true author of Shakespeare’s works, is set to begin shooting at Babelsberg studios in mid-March and will be released theatrically by Sony Pictures Releasing. UK actor Edward Hogg, who has been selected as one of the Shooting Stars at next month’s Berlinale, is the first cast member to be named so far.
Produced by Anonymous Pictures Limited with Vierzehnte Babelsberg Film, the project is Emmerich’s first production to be shot in his native Germany for more than 20 years and his first ever to receive German film funding.
Collet-Serra’s Unknown White Male, starring Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger, will start shooting next week, also at the Babelsberg studios and on location in Berlin. The co-production - between Zwölfte Babelsberg Film, UK-based Horticus and France’s Studio Canal - will be released in the German cinemas by Warner Bros Entertainment.
The DFFF generated a $498.2m (€44m) spend in Germany during 2009 with overall production costs of $653m (€451m). International co-productions received $32m (€22.1m) in support including Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (pictured), Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, Christopher Smith’s medieval horror film Black Death and Olivier Assayas’ Carlos.
Since its launch in January 2007, the DFFF has provided a total of $258m (€178.1m) support for 302 film projects shooting in Germany and generated a local spend $1.5bn (€1.1 bn).