Berlin-Brandenburg is currently dragging behind other German states as a production location, but will soon play catch-up, according to incoming Berlin festival chief Dieter Kosslick, who delivered the keynote speech at this week's Babelsberg 2000 producers' convention.
Kosslick presented figures from a report by market research company FORMATT which showed that Bavaria was Germany's top location in 1999, hosting film and TV productions worth a combined $350m (DM770m). It was followed by Hamburg ($313m; DM690m) and Cologne ($250m; DM550m) with Berlin coming in fourth at $195m (DM430m). The study also found that these four states account for 82.5% of film and TV production in Germany.
Another report, from market researchers BLM, showed that North Rhine Westphalia was the top location for TV production last year, pulling in 172,000 minutes worth of programming, followed by Hamburg (115,400 minutes) and Bavaria (102,500 minutes) with Berlin again coming in fourth (90,800 minutes).
But Kosslick was upbeat about the region's prospects, quoting from a survey of 140 companies: "ranging from exhibitors to producers, which say that Berlin has one of the richest resources in today's media economy: human resources".
"More and more companies are moving to Berlin and this shows when you look at financial forecasts for the region," continued Kosslick. "Berlin-Brandenburg should use that positive atmosphere to its advantage."
Kosslick also pointed to the string of top international productions that have recently shot in the region including Alan Rudolph's Investigating Sex and Jean Jacques Annaud's Enemy At The Gates.
But with his customary dry wit, Kosslick emphasised that the actual location of a shoot is becoming less important as digital links allow one production to be spread across several centres. He also called for less competition and more collaboration between Germany's various media locations.