Medienboard Berlin-Brandenberg (MBB) is to receive a cash injection of €15m from Berlin’s state government to boost the amount it invests in film and TV productions over the next two years, Berlin’s VFX companies and the creation of a new office to administer permits.
This brings Berlin’s total funding for MBB to €17.2m for 2022 and €17.9m for 2023.
Among the projects now shooting in Berlin and the neighbouring state of Brandenburg are German films Christian Petzold’s Roter Himmel, Barbara Albert’s Mittagsfrau, Simon Verhoeven’s Girl You Know It’s True. German series shooting include Kida Ramadan’s Asbest, Pola Beck’s Tender Hearts and the Weydemann Bros’ A Thin Line, co-directed by Sabrina Sarabi and Damian John Harper.
International productions to shoot in the region include Peacock series Pitch Perfect: Bumper In Berlin this spring.
Production is now gearing up on Studiocanal and The Picture Company’s action thriller Role Play, starring Kaley Cuoco, David Oyelowo and Billy Bob Thornton, Zentropa’s historical drama King’s Land, directed by Nicolaj Arcel and starring Mads Mikkelsen, and Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games prequel The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes.
Furthermore, the Berlin Senate has also boosted funding to the MBB’s Digital Film Produktion pilot funding programme which supports Berlin-based VFX companies, to €9m for 2022 and 2023 from €5m.
Productions supported through this programme include last year’s German box-office success The School Of Magical Animals and VFX work carried out by risefx in Berlin for Fantastic Beasts. The Secrets Of Dumbledore.
“The substantial increase in the funding is good news for all filmmakers and VFX companies in the region and also secures the hub’s leading position internationally,” said Kirsten Niehuus, CEO of MBB.
Niehuus pointed out 2021 had seen a record 6,000 shooting days for series and films in the region.
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The Berlin Senate is also planning to provide €1.7m for the creation of a central point of contact for productions seeking shooting permits to film in the city’s streets, parks and lakes.
“In the last 10 years alone the level of shooting has quadrupled in our city,” said Franziska Giffey, Berlin’s governing mayor. “Every film and every series made here are great promotion for our city. We want Berlin to even more film-friendly in future.”
Giffey also announced an increase in the Senate’s budget contribution to the German Film & Television Academy (DFFB) - up 22% on 2021 to €6.6m for 2022 and up another 21% to €8m for 2023.
The additional funds will be invested in the Academy’s further development and digital transformation as well as plans for moving from the current location at Potsdamer Platz to a new one in Berlin’s Westhafen at the beginning of 2025.
In a separate development, DFFB’s artistic director Marie Wilke will step down at the end of July 2022 after only a year in the post . The Academy’s managing director Catherine A. Berger will assume responsibilities for both areas on an ad interim basis from August 1.