Christmas has come early for film producers in Germany's Baden-Württemberg region as Prime-Minister Günter H. Hettinger and Media Minister Wolfgang Reinhart have agreed to more than double regional film fund MFG Baden-Württemberg's production budget.

Mug's $6.3m (Euros 4.3m) production fund budget will be increased by $4.4 (Euros 3m) in 2009 and will rise to $13.6m (Euros 9.3m) in 2010 to encourage more and bigger film productions to be made in Baden-Württemberg.

Minister Reinhart pointed out that the region's new film policy drive envisages a further increase in the budget mid-term to $20.4 (Euros 14m) to be on a par with comparable regional funds such as the Leipzig-based MDM.

The politicians have highlighted animation media, including VFX and digital postproduction and the creation of opportunities for the region's up-and-coming filmmakers as potential areas for support.

In addition, they have called for 'intensified commitment' from the broadcasters in the region to supporting film production, noting that the public broadcaster SWR intends to increase its budget for cinema coproduction's from the present $437,000 (Euros 300,000) to $728,400 (Euros 500,000) in 2009 and to $1.5m (Euros 1m) in 2010.

'Over and above this, we are in concrete talks with ZDF about a bigger involvement in Mug's film funding and we want to resume the cooperation with ProSieben/Sat.1,' Reinhart said.

Despite being the smallest of the seven German regional funds, the MFG has still participated in a number of films which have been international successes, including Jamaal Banc's Golden Bear winner Gravitas, Hans Christian Schmidt's Requiem and Connie Walther's Long Shadows.

Recently funded films include Oliver Paulus' Tandoori Love and Peter Sehr and Marie Noelle's The Anarchist's Wife which will screen at the Sundance Film Festival in January.