Warner Bros. Launches $1.1 million Funding Initiative in Germany

Ed Meza

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Warner Bros.’ Hamburg-based German division, Warner Bros. Entertainment GmbH, has agreed for the first time to financial contributions of €1 million ($1.1 million) annually for regional funder Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH).

The three-year deal, signed between Warner Bros. and the FFHSH on Friday, marks the first time that Warner Bros. has contributed to any of Germany’s eight main regional funds. The FFHSH will allocate 25% of the new funding to projects from young up-and-coming filmmakers.

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“Warner Bros. has been committed to German film through investments as a co-producer and distributor since 1995,” said Willi Geike, Warner Bros. Entertainment president and managing director.

“With our new initiative at the FFHSH, we want to support young screenwriting talents and filmmakers from the region, enable the production of innovative feature films and strengthen Hamburg as a location.”

FFHSH managing director Helge Albers added: “We are very pleased that with Warner Bros., a big major in Hamburg is specifically supporting the film industry on its own doorstep. This funding will flow into projects with a strong regional focus and a quarter of the money is reserved for projects by young filmmakers.”

Albers, a former producer who became head of the FFHSH last year, thanked his predecessor Maria Köpf for getting the initiative started.

As part of the agreement, which initially covers a three-year period, Warner Bros. will provide the FFHSH with $1.1 million a year for fiduciary administration. The funding is aimed at screenplay development and feature film productions of artistic and/or cultural significance from Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. At least 25% of the funding will be allocated to projects from young filmmakers in an effort to strengthen talent development in the region.

The FFHSH will begin granting support from the funding pot in April.

Recent films shot in Hamburg include Elizabeth Banks’ “Charlie’s Angels” and Nora Fingscheidt’s hit drama “System Crasher.”

(Pictured L-R: Willi Geike; Helge Albers; Peter Schauerte; Carsten Brosda)

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