New films by Christian Petzold, Stanislaw Mucha, AndreasKleinert and Thomas Grube are among 17 projects and screenplays backed to thetune of $1.9m (Euros 1.64m) byGermany's new State Minister for Culture Bernd Neumann on his first day inoffice.

The largest sum of $226,00 (Euros 225,000 was awarded toMartin Theo Krieger's Beautiful Bitchabout a fateful friendship between a 15-year-old Rumanian pickpocket and aGerman girl of the same age in Berlin; and moneypenny filmproduktion's productionof Andreas Kleinert's Temptation (Versuchung) about the consequences for a German childless coupleof their arrangement with a young Polish surrogate mother.