Müller spoke at the opening of this year’s Berlinale last night [Feb 5].

Berlin’s new Governing Mayor Michael Müller has positioned himself as an ally of the German film industry given the increasingly cutthroat competition between international film hubs.

Speaking on Thursday evening at the opening of this year’s Berlinale, Müller argued that “the film-makers are entitled to political commitment, good parameters and adequate funding” if the goal is to secure a bright future for the film industry in Berlin and Brandenburg and Germany, as a whole.

He pointed out that the film industry generated “a considerable added value” and “thousands of jobs”.

Earlier in the day before last night’s ceremony, Björn Böhning, the head of Berlin’s Senate Chancellery, had spoken in a wide-ranging keynote speech to the German Producers Alliance at their Producers Day, covering such issues as the “German spend” incentive DFFF, future reform to the German Film Law (FFG) and co-producing with China.

Böhning supported the production sector’s calls for the DFFF’s €4m “cap” to be relaxed and argued “vehemently” for a dialogue to be instigated with such players as YouTube, Amazon and Netflix to agree on “a voluntary commitment” to make financial contributions to German Federal Film Board (FFA) as has been practised with the German broadcasters.

In his opinion, “all users of German films” should be required to pay into the FFA’s coffers.

In addition, he suggested that efforts should be made to conclude a co-production treaty between Germany and China given the growing importance of the Asian market.