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Medienboard presents a successful 2015

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Left to right: Hendrik Fischer (Medienboard Deputy Chairman and State Secretary of the Brandenburg Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy), Kirsten Niehuus (Medienboard Managing Director, Film Funding), Björn Böhning (Medienboard Chairman Head of the Berlin Senate Chancellery), Helge Jürgens (Medienboard Managing Director, Media Development)

Funding pays off artistically and economically:
Booming film and media economy in the capital region


The Medienboard’s 2015 Highlights

  • €30.4 million funding budget
  • €25.5 million for film funding, and €4.9 million for media development
  • €135 million EUR in regional expenditures generated by Medienboard funding
  • 2/3 of all cinema visitors for German films were watching Medienboard-supported productions
  • 6 funded films in the German cinema Top 10
  • 4 Oscars, 13 LOLAs, and numerous other prizes and festival entries
  • Record new application numbers for film funding and Innovative Audiovisual Content category
  • MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin, in co-operation with re:publica, further established itself, and reached the 7,000-attendee mark
  • Platform-independent funding for serial content in the areas of high-end drama series, factual content, entertainment, and web series

Berlin/Potsdam – Top film location in Germany, start-up capital, centre of the digital economy, and now also German series capital: Berlin-Brandenburg is one of Europe’s top media-region addresses, with creative potential and know-how on every side. From Hollywood stars to video artists, and games developers to VR professionals, all are bringing the Berlin spirit into the world. In addition to creating jobs, this serves as valuable image marketing for the highly liveable, creative capital region.

With a total of 309 projects and more than €30.4 million in funding in 2015, the Medienboard has made a crucial contribution to this positive development. In addition to enabling great artistic successes, this funding is also a worthwhile economic investment. On average, every €1 in funding produced a 4.5-fold return in the region, thus generating direct expenditures on the order of €135 million in Berlin-Brandenburg. The current Medienindex Berlin-Brandenburg also confirms that the audiovisual industry must be taken seriously as a growth sector.

Benefiting from Medienboard support in 2015 were successful international series like “Homeland”, celebrated pathbreaking cinematic experiments like “Victoria”, four Berlin-Brandenburg Oscar winners, and blockbusters like “Suck Me Shakespeer 2” (Fack ju Göhte 2) and “Head Full of Honey” (Honig im Kopf) that enchanted viewerships exceeding the 7-million mark. Support also went to German Computer Games Award winners like “Professor S.”, and to an assortment of high-profile events such as the German Film Awards, International Games Week, and MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin, the capital region’s most important convention of the media year for German and international film- and media-makers.

Berlin Governing Mayor Michael Müller and Brandenburg Prime Minister Dr. Dietmar Woidka: “The Medienboard is a powerful motor of success. Creativity, expertise, and engagement are irreplaceable in an economic sector from which so much is expected. The Medienboard helps to nurture precisely these strengths.”

>>Download the Medienboard’s 2015 Activities Report here.

Film and series capital Berlin-Brandenburg

It’s Germany’s hottest film location, with the country’s largest number of funding applications and filming days, the greatest regional effect, and once again numerous international awards over the course of the year: an Oscar for Steven Spielberg’s spy thriller “Bridge of Spies”, filmed at the Glienicke Bridge; “Toni Erdmann” as the first German film in eight years to reach competition at Cannes and the next “made in Berlin-Brandenburg” candidate for the Oscars; and now “The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez” (Die schönen Tage von Aranjuez) and “Brimstone” in competition in Venice. Medienboard-funded films help the capital region shine worldwide at all major festivals and award ceremonies! And they also sell tickets. Detlev Buck’s “Bibi & Tina 3“ has already cracked the million-viewer mark this year, while “Toni Erdmann” and Maria Schrader’s “Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe” (Vor der Morgenröte) have been rocking the art-house segment for weeks.

Germany’s most-filmed location
They all come to film in Berlin-Brandenburg: international stars like Terrence Malick (“Radegund”) and Alicia Vikander (“Submergence”, with Wim Wenders) meet German drama-series pioneers; in Studio Babelsburg, the gigantic “Babylon Berlin” multiparter is taking shape under Tom Tykwer’s direction; while next door, Lummerland is being built for Dennis Gansel’s extravagant adaptation of “Jim Knopf”. Matthias Schweighöfer and Marvin Kren are staging their new high-end series for Amazon (“You Are Wanted”) and Turner (“4 Blocks”), while Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s “Werk ohne Autor” and Ute Wieland’s “Tigermilch” are also unfolding in front of Berlin sets. And Til Schweiger’s “Conni & Co. 2”, Detlev Buck’s “Bibi & Tina 4”, and Isabell Šuba’s “Hanni & Nanni” are making Brandenburg the film hot-spot of the summer.

Moreover, the capital region’s next cinema highlights are already in the starting blocks. We’re looking eagerly forward to Fatih Akin’s “Tschick”, Karoline Herfurth‘s “SMS für dich”, Wolfgang Petersen’s “Vier gegen die Bank”, Martin Schreier’s “Unsere Zeit ist jetzt” about the rapper Cro, Andreas Dresen’s “Timm Thaler”, and Johannes Naber’s “Das kalte Herz”, just to name a few.

Kirsten Niehuus, Medienboard managing director for film funding: “It’s currently going very well as a film- and series-production location, because Berlin-Brandenburg is an attractive location with in-demand original settings and fantastic studios. The region’s highly skilled film crews are booked solid again this year. Artistically and technically, standards here are world class, and the demand for audiovisual content is growing. In order to keep productions here, we need an automatic funding program for the audiovisual creative industries at the federal level in addition to the regional funding, as is in place in competing locations such as the United Kingdom.”

The country needs women in media!

Driven by the Pro Quote Regie initiative, an FFA study is currently researching why contract conditions for women directors and screenwriters are worse than for men. Equality for women film- and media-makers is an important issue for the Medienboard too. No one disagrees that women make outstanding films – a point made clearly by the recent successes of Maren Ade or the million-viewer hits from Anika Decker and Julia von Heinz. About a third of Medienboard’s funding recipients are women, but that ratio can certainly be improved. The fact that women in the media have plenty to say was also clear at MEDIA CONVENTION, where about 30% of speakers were women. Womanize, the “action day” at International Games Week Berlin, specifically aimed at informing women about tech careers. Fundamentally, it would be desirable for at least the public broadcasters to commit themselves to a quota. Digital ladies to the front, women take the director’s chair!

Helge Jürgens, Medienboard managing director of media development: “With regard to digital developments and the start-up scene, Berlin-Brandenburg is way ahead not just in Germany, but in Europe overall. The audiovisual sector is booming, the growth potential is enormous – and the demands change on a daily basis, even for funding organisations. For us, the key is therefore to support the transformation process, and remain flexible. The goal is to avoid rigid systems. Only in this way can we find the right answers for future problems too.”

Start-up capital, high-profile events and digital innovations
Berlin-Brandenburg is Germany’s start-up capital, as well as one of the most in-demand event destinations and innovation hubs in the games, web and transmedia sectors. The Medienboard supports regional event highlights like the German Film Awards and the German Computer Games Awards, and in partnership with re:publica, itself hosts MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin, one of Europe’s biggest media conventions. Digital content has been funded for 10 years, allowing the Medienboard to follow market trends in a targeted way. A current focus, for example, is on projects with virtual-reality applications. This digital funding is clearly worthwhile: Medienboard-funded games bring home prizes (GCGA16 for “Professor S.”), repay their funding (“The Curious Expedition”, “Wimmelburg”), and are one of the drivers of growth in the capital region. In addition to providing funding for VR, the Medienboard, as a close partner of the new Berlin-Brandenburg Virtual Reality Association, will help raise Berlin-Brandenburg’s profile as a VR location, for example with VR hubs and industry events like “VR Now! The Tech Biz Art Conference” (16 November 2016).

Serial content – TV & web growing in parallel
Berlin-Brandenburg is a top production location for innovative series too: In addition to lavishly produced high-end drama series, exciting new productions are being created in Berlin in the areas of factual content, entertainment, and the web, for traditional TV as well as for digital platforms. Examples include the Friedrich Liechtenstein documentary “Tankstellen des Glücks”, the ARTE short-film series “Paare” with Nora Tschirner and Til Schweiger, and the “Perfect Match” dating show. Industry dialogue and networking in the international series market are supported through events like Drama Series Days during the Berlinale. The Medienboard also supports tomorrow’s media-makers with projects like the Your Turn Competition and WIGO, both programmes for young, innovative video makers.

Medienindex: Businesses optimistic, turnover climbing
The capital region’s audiovisual sector continues to show positive development. The Medienindex Berlin-Brandenburg published today proves that funding film, TV, mobile and game content in the capital region is bearing fruit. The year 2014, like the previous year, showed 7% growth in turnover. Total annual turnover in the film, TV and video industry thus grew by a half-billion euros, to €6.6 billion. Since 2004, turnover has risen by 94%. More than 11,00 companies provided nearly 65,000 jobs. The boom in the digital market is also evident in the development of the overall culture- and creative industry, which with annual turnover of €15.7 billion is a significant economic-growth factor for the region.

Downloads:

•    Medienboard Activity Report for 2015 (PDF)
•    Medienboard: 2015 Overview (PDF)
•    Medienindex Berlin-Brandenburg 2016 (PDF)
•    Press photos: Year in review press conference (left to right: Hendrik Fischer, Kirsten Niehuus,  Björn Böhning, Helge Jürgens)
•    New press photos of Medienboard’s executive team


Press contact
Mareike Jung & Laura Winkler
Kommunikation und Presse
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH
August-Bebel-Str. 26-53
14482 Potsdam-Babelsberg
+49 (0)331 743 87-72 /-62
presse@medienboard.de 
www.medienboard.de