Examples of sectoral focus areas: film, book and reading culture

Key objectives of the measure:


The film medium visually presents Germany’s cultural diversity and societal developments to a broad and young audience abroad. At the same time, films from around the world offer audiences in Germany new insights and perspectives. Germany is represented in some 150 international film festivals per year. “German Films” promotes the worldwide export of German films. The Federal Government funds the participation of foreign filmmakers in major film festivals in Germany. The Berlinale Talent Campus provides a forum for up–and-coming filmmakers which, since 2003, has resulted in a worldwide network. “Changing Perspectives” was the theme for the 2012 Campus. Almost 35,000 young filmmakers applied to join the programme and 350 talents from mostly developing and emerging countries were invited to participate. Joint film productions make an important contribution to the development of cultural and economic exchange. In 2010 and 2011, new cooperation agreements were concluded with Argentina, Austria, Switzerland and Russia. The World Cinema Fund (WCF) was created in 2004 as an additional Berlinale project for feature-length films. The WCF’s budget for supporting co-production and distribution totals about EUR 400,000 (USD 530,000) per year. Since 2004, 1,651 films have been submitted from developing and emerging countries, 93 of which have received financial support. These films are shown at renowned festivals and have already received numerous distinctions such as Golden Palms, Golden Bears and Oscar nominations.

Book and reading culture

Germany is one of the countries with the highest number of translations from other languages in the world. The German Translators Fund offers grants, prizes and residencies to German translators and organises bilingual translation workshops. Support has been given to the Berlin Literary Colloquium (grants for translator residencies and attendance at international meetings), the programme for promoting the translation of selected literary works from Asia, Africa and Latin America into the German language (LITPROM), as well as to outstanding translators from Turkey, Italy, the US and Britain (translator prizes). In 2008, the TRADUKI network for books and literature from South-East Europe was initiated. The public-private partnership is valued by publishing companies, translators and authors alike. The Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institut, the Austrian Federal Ministry for European
and International Affairs, KulturKontakt Austria, the Swiss cultural foundation Pro Helvetia, the S. Fischer Foundation, since 2009 the Slovenian Book Agency and since 2011 the Croatian Cultural Ministry support the translation of fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature to and from German and South-East European languages as well as to and from smaller South-East European language groups.

In cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair, support is granted to the international activities of the German publishing industry, specifically through participation in international book fairs in, for example, Cairo, São Paulo or Warsaw. Book information centres in Moscow, Beijing and New York promote professional exchange. In 2009, a book information centre was opened in New Delhi, reflecting the growing importance of the Indian book market. Nearly EUR 1.7 million (USD 2.7 million) were allocated to this endeavour. Since 2006, the Frankfurt Book Fair, along with the Goethe-Institut, has successfully provided advanced training to publishers and publishing professionals in the Arab world. Following its launch in Cairo, the programme was extended to Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and in 2010/2011 to the Maghreb countries. Numerous organisations offer reading programmes as well as book buses throughout developing countries (Goethe-Institut, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), NGOs).

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