There was a catch to this week’s decision of the German Federal Film Board to approve more funds to more screenwrights than usual: In average, most of them walk away with less money. No maximum subsidies (30,000, in exceptional cases 50,000) were given out to the 16 approved projects (out of 60). Instead, all screenplays were affirmed for support payments of either 18,000 or just over 14,500 Euros. Four treatments received 7,000 each.
Of course, that group included some better-known names, such as Fatih Akin, director of Head-On and The Edge of Heaven, who has teamed up with journalist Hans Hielscher to write a script called Kämpfernatur (Born Fighter), a story based in the world of professional boxing. We also have Aliza Olmert, visual artist and wife of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, who is trying to get her autobiographical novel A Slice of Sea on the big screen with the help of Brit writer/director Gareth Jones.
There is also Uli Edel, who, three decades after his groundbreaking junkie pic Christiane F. and after recently spiking up the German Red Army Fraction in The Baader Meinhof Complex, is looking to take on the unconventional Erinnerungen an die Zukunft (Remembering the Future), a biopic for and about controversial Swiss alien scientist Erich von Däniken which has not taken off since at least 2007 when an initial script was allegedly put together by New York based scribes.
Edel is not alone in the field of portrayals: Marco Kreuzpaintner (Krabat, Summer Storm) is taking the next step towards a project he has been talking about for more than two years: the first film ever on German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, titled Ich will doch nur, dass ihr mich liebt (I Just Want You to Love Me, also the title of a 1975 television movie by Fassbinder).
The FFA decision radar also brings to light projects by some most promising people: For once, the next screenplay by writer-director duo Marvin Kren and Benjamin Hessler, who, after easily making the best German addition to the zombie/infected people rampage film in years with Rammbock, are working on Apartment 53 – which definitely appears to be genre material. And there is Franz Müller, filmmaker and co-editor of German film mag Revolver, who is busy on a follow-up to his insightful and sparse relationship drama Die Liebe der Kinder (Wallace Line). For the time being, it’s working title is 3 Männer – 2 Wochen (3 Men – 2 Weeks).