Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB), the German regional fund, will invest an additional $1.3m(Euros 1m) in the film projects this year.

The increase follows a decision by the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg to both increase their financial commitment by $657, 455 (Euros 500,000). It will see MBB’s funding budget for 2009 raised to $39.7m (Euros 30.2m) from last year’s $38.8m (Euro 29.2m), which was paid out to 284 projects.

Over the past five years, the Medienboard’s funding budget has increased by over $19.7m (Euros 15m) due to additional financial contributions made by Berlin and Brandenburg, public local broadcaster RBB and broadcaster ARD Network’s film purchaser, Degeto.

Kirsten Niehuus, MBB’s managing director for film funding, said that Berlin-Brandenburg’s current status as the most important film hub in Germany was “[thanks] to the political and financial commitment of the two Länder. The enormous creative potential of the region could not have come into full flower without the massive increase in the funding monies in recent years.”

“Film funding is a good investment because the funded productions spend on average fivefold the funding sum in the region. The local economy is really pleased about this,” she added.

The fund supported two of this year’s Official Competition films in Cannes - Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon and Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds - the “out of competition” Special Screening of Keren Yedaya’s Jaffa, and Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s Altiplano in the Critics’ Week sidebar.