German Regional Funding Body Stands by Lars von Trier

Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

Filmstiftung NRW says "nothing stands in the way" of funding Lars von Trier films in the future.

COLOGNE, Germany - Germany's largest regional funding body, Filmstiftung NRW, has told The Hollywood Reporter it will continue to back projects by Lars von Trier even after his quips about Nazism last week let him to being banned from the Cannes Film Festival. The Filmstiftung was a backer on Melancholia and has co-financed the last five of von Trier's films. The director's horror shocker Antichrist, which premiered in Cannes in 2009 and won the best actress prize for star Charlotte Gainsbourg, was shot almost entirely in the NRW region in western Germany.

Here is the full comment from Petra Muller, managing director of the Filmstiftung NRW:

"I can understand that Lars von Trier's comments were provocative and painful for many. Personally, I perceived things differently in the press conference. If one is familiar with Lars von Trier's biography and work than one can only understand his comments as being ironic.

For me, there is no question that with Melancholia, Lars von Trier has made a great film that likely would have had a chance at winning the Palme d'Or. That's also shown by the honor for Kirsten Dunst as best actress. It's very regrettable that his unfortunate comments at the press conference have overshadowed the perception of his artistic accomplishment. It's a pity for the film and a pity for him as well.

Lars von Trier has been cultivating his role as an enfant terrible for many years. He definitely went too far in Cannes. But that does not detract from his importance as an artist. The Filmstiftung NRW have close ties to Lars von Trier and his production company Zentropa International. Melancholia is, after Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Manderlay and Antichrist already our first cooperation with Lars von Trier and Zentropa. In my opinion, nothing stands in the way of our funding his films in the future.”