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Castles In The Air

Peppered with castles, seeped in history and graced with beautiful architecture, the German city of Stuttgart is a truly romantic locale

True to its tourism slogan ‘Stuttgart is more’, Germany’s sixth-largest city has a striking skyline toplined with Renaissance and Baroque-style architecture, palaces, castles and many more landmarks that not only popularises the metropolis but include it in the list of one of the most beautiful places in the world.

From high-tech buildings, to old and new castles and Schlossplatz, the main square that lies in the centre of Stuttgart, all the points of interest spread across the city have a fascinating history. Apart from being the largest square, Schlossplatz stands at the intersecting point between the city’s shopping centres, residential areas, museum, Schlossgarten Park and the two main castles of the city.

Although Stuttgart was damaged during World War II, many historical monuments were rebuilt and preserved and today, it boasts some of the finest post-war architecture. Also, the city’s gargantuan list of castles reflects its royal past. And all this doubles as dazzling movie sets for feature films.

Walk on Stuttgart’s most important shopping street, which claims to be the longest pedestrian road in Germany, and witness the culture of Stuttgart. Lounge at the best retro-bars or simply take a leisurely walk. At sundown, the city, especially the street, is illuminated with thousands of lights, which appear to have jumped out of one of Woody Allen’s romantic films.

Stuttgart is divided in 23 districts – a harmonious blend of new and old architecture, varied cultures and living standards. The Stuttgart region includes nearby cities as well within its boundaries – Ludwigsburg, the old Free Imperial City of Esslingen, Waiblingen and Göppingen, all of them possessing various attractions.

The city is the capital of Baden-Württemberg, a state located in the south-western part of the country. The film fund, which is supported by the federal state, is another highlight to shoot in the picturesque locales of the city.

MFG Film Funding

Since October 1995, the MFG programme has been supporting culturally significant film projects to advance the local film industry in South-West Germany. Its associates are the federal state Baden-Württemberg and the Suedwestrundfunk SWR. In 1999, the MFG concerted an additional cooperation with the TV channels ZDF/arte.

The annual budget of about € 15 million is spent on scriptwriting, pre-production, incentive funding, production of films, TV and video projects, post-production and distribution as well as on the support of cinema in the South-West.

The following have funding priority:

• Culturally significant films of diverse genres

• Film productions that significantly contribute to advance the film industry in Baden-Württemberg

The following areas are eligible for support:

• Script Development

• Project development and pre- production

• Production of feature films

• Post-production

• Distribution and sales

• Screenings and presentations

• New media applications

• Other related initiatives

The following are conditions of support:

• The quality of the project and a cultural or other connection to Baden-Württemberg.

• The quality of the project and its being of economic interest to Baden-Württemberg.

• An economic interest exists if at least 120 per cent of the financial support awarded is spent in Baden-Württemberg in the form of documented project costs which are to be spent above all in areas relevant for the film industry.

• It must be mentioned in the main or closing credits of the film as well as in all publicity material for the film that the film was made with the support of the Medien und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg – Filmförderung.

• The amount awarded is payable only after clearance of the necessary rights as well as complete financing have been confirmed.

Production Support

General criteria:

• As a rule, the support is a share of the financing in the form of a conditionally repayable loan towards the total production budget. In the case of international co-productions this will be based on the German share of the total production budget.

• The applicant is expected to contribute a commensurate amount of his/her own investment, that as a rule may not be less than five per cent of the production budget, even if the project in question is small.

• The share or investments of an additional German co-producer have the same rank as that of the applicant.

• Feature films with budgets higher than € 5,00,000

• As a rule, the loan will not exceed 50 per cent of the total production budget and, as a rule, not more that € 1 million.

• The producer is obliged to repay the amount awarded with 50 per cent of his/her receipts from the supported film. If other German funding institutions are involved in the financing of the film, proportional repayment can accordingly be agreed to.

• Feature films with budgets up to

€ 5,00,000

• Producers and filmmakers, especially young film professionals, are eligible.

• Support is in the form of a conditionally repayable loan and should not exceed 70 per cent of the total budget.

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