Austria Boosts Film Funding


Riva, known to French film fans for movies like "Hiroshima Mon Amour," capped a 55-year career with "Amour."

The state film institute, backer of films such as Michael Haneke's "Amour," gets its annual budget bumped up to $26 million after local industry complains.

COLOGNE, Germany - Austria, one of the few Euro-Zone countries so far spared from the economic malaise that has infected much of the region, has announced it will be increasing support for its local film makers.

As of next year, the film subsidies budget for the Austrian Film Institute will be $26 million (€20 million) an annual increase of around $4.5 million.

The Institute has provided backing for such Austrian features and co-productions as Michael Haneke's Palme d'Or winner Amour; Detlef Buck's 3D period drama Measuring the World in 3D; and the film trilogy Paradise: Love, Paradise: Faith and Paradise: Hope from director Ulrich Seidl.

Seidl was among the group of Austrian directors and actors who signed an open letter sent to Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann earlier this month, in which they called for just such a budget increase.

The fiscal boost stands in sharp contrast to harder-hit European nations such as Spain, which has slashed its film funding as part of its overall austerity plans.