James McTeigue's martial arts action film Ninja Assassin has become the first project this year to be awarded support from the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) over and above the prescribed 'cap' of Euros 4m.

An advisory committee, which is convened when applications are made for support over $6.1m (Euros 4m) and up to $15.4m (Euros 10m) incentive, decided on Monday (May 5) to award the Joel Silver production an additional $2.7m (Euros 1.8m) on top of the previously allocated $6.1m (Euros 4m).

This makes Ninja Assassin, which began shooting in the Berlin-Brandenburg region a week ago as a co-production with Fuenfte Babelsberg Film, the fourth project to break the 'cap' threshold after last year's Joel Silver production of the Wachowski brothers' Speed Racer ($13.9m/Euros 9m), Bryan Singer's Valkyrie ($7.4m/Euros 4.8m) and Tom Tykwer's The International ($8.9m/Euros 5.8m).

In addition, Stephen Daldry's The Reader, starring Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, and David Kross, has been awarded $5.7m (Euros 3.68m) funding, the fifth-largest amount since the DFFF began operations on January 1 last year. The adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's bestselling novel, which has been shooting in Berlin, Goerlitz and Cologne since last October, will wrap in June.

In the four months until April 30, the incentive scheme had paid out around $31.6m (Euros 20.5m) to 17 feature films and 9 documentaries, including such international co-productions as Julie Delpy's costume drama The Countess, Serbian filmmaker comedy Momcilo Mrdakovic's comedy Mamarosh, and Sherry Hormann's Desert Flower which begins shooting this month.

Moreover, the DFFF calculated that the incentive for these 26 films would generate some $185.4m (Euros 120m) of production costs spent in Germany.