'The Swarm'

Source: Beta Film / ZDF Studios

‘The Swarm’

Berlin’s VFX scene has received a cash injection of €4m from the German capital’s Senate for the next two years.

The funding is on top of an existing €5m that is already being provided by the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg’s Digital Film Production programme.

The additional funding comes with a change to the programme’s guidelines which will now see the maximum grant that can be allocated for a project increasing from the previous €500,000 to €1m.

Projects supported since the programme’s launch in 2020 have included VFX work by Berlin-based post-production houses for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbeldore, the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds And Snakes, the fourth season of the Babylon Berlin TV series, the German box -office hit School Of Magical Animals and the ZDF series The Swarm.

Medienboard’s CEO Kirsten Niehuus said the investment was “an important signal” indicating “Berlin remains internationally competitive in the high-tech area of VFX production and remains attractive as a film and series hub”.

Record number of shooting days

The boost for the VFX houses follows on from the news that 2022 saw a record number of 6,200 shooting days of film and TV productions in the Berlin-Brandenburg region, more than six times the 1,107 total for ten years ago in 2012.

International productions using locations or studio facilities in the region last year included the Peacock series Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin, Apple TV+’s psychological thriller series Constellation, Scott Free Productions’ thriller Berlin Nobody by Jordan Scott, Zentropa’s period drama The Bastard by Nikolaj Arcel, and Indian filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari’s love story Bawaal as well as Studiocanal and The Picture Company’s thriller Role Play and Mike Barker’s pilot film for the FX series The Bends.