In a reaction to the Hamburg Senate's planned cut to itsfilm funding budget, Studio Hamburg - which is currently negotiating a takeoverof the Babelsberg studios - has threatened to move its production apparatus toBerlin.

Speaking to of Die Welt, Studio Hamburg chief Martin Willichsaid that "on 23 July our supervisory board convenes and I will describethe repercussions the cuts will have on us."

One of the key players in the local Hamburg film andtelevision industry, Willich called the consequences of the cuts for Hamburg"devastating: economically as well as culturally and naturally alsosymbolic."

In an interview with the Berlin daily newspaper BerlinerMorgenpost, Willich added that "if Hamburg now undertakes massive fundingcuts, the city will be able to compare itself in future with Saarbruecken orWiesbaden. We won't actually shoot fewer films, we'll just shoot themelsewhere."

Meanwhile, some industry insiders have suggested thatWillich's threat to move production away from Hamburg is merely politicalposturing to exert pressure on the Culture Senator von Welck to rescind herfunding cut proposal.