Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of the Others)
by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, won the Oscar for best foreign language film at the 79th Academy Awards on 25 February 2007.
Das Leben der Anderen had received more than €500,000 in funding from the EU’s MEDIA programme for distribution to cinemas and DVD-transfer outside Germany.
“The support provided by the EU’s MEDIA programme has helped to ensure that this story could be told beyond Germany and is now also successful in Hollywood,” Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding told reporters.
“I hope that this will encourage Europe’s film makers to continue to fight hard and with confidence for market success also outside Europe.”
Launched at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, the EU’s MEDIA 2007 programme plays a pivotal role in supporting Europe’s audiovisual sector. Nine out of every 10 feature films in Europe distributed outside their home country received MEDIA support. Even though its overall budget is not bigger than that of an average Hollywood blockbuster, MEDIA promotion has important knock-on effects as each €1 of Community funding generates about €6 in private investment from industry.
MEDIA will provide €755 million for Europe’s film industry over the next seven years and is intended to provide easier access to finance – in particular for SMEs – and increase the use of digital technologies, making Europe’s audiovisual sector more competitive.
In addition to The Lives of the Others, two other MEDIA-supported films were nominated for Oscars: After The Wedding (Efter Bryllupet – Denmark), and Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno, a hispano-American co-production). Together they received around €750,000 in MEDIA funding.
Last year another MEDIA-supported film, March of the Penguins (La marche de l’Empereur), won the Oscar for Best Documentary Film.