Construction begins on the Neue Berliner Straße backlot set at Studio Babelsberg

15.12.2015

Construction work began today on the new extensive backlot set at Studio Babelsberg. Four streets are being created under the name of Neue Berliner Straße and will be available in future for feature film, TV and commercials productions. The modular set is unique in Europe and will provide both German and international film producers and directors from spring 2016 with attractive shooting opportunities offering state-of-the-art technology. Studio Babelsberg will thereby be able to boost the capital region's attractiveness as a hub for film production. The foundation stone for the Neue Berliner Straße was laid by the Federal Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel at the end of 2014.

Dr. Carl Woebcken, CEO of Studio Babelsberg AG: „We are pleased that the extensive construction work has now begun. A permanent backlot set is an important component of Babelsberg's appeal as a location and will send out a message to the rest of the world. Taken overall, we are investing over 12 million Euros in this project. The Neue Berliner Straße will thrill both German and international film producers and directors and open up entirely new creative possibilities to the filmmakers for the production of their projects."

BABYLON BERLIN, a production by X Filme Creative Pool with ARD Degeto, Sky und Beta Film, will be the first film project to be realised in the Neue Berliner Straße. Other projects are at the planning stage.

Studio Babelsberg sees itself – and the German film industry at large – as also being on the right track to remaining internationally competitive due on the basis of the improved parameters. These include the new “German Motion Picture Fund“, which was initiated by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel and supports the making of internationally co-produced feature films and TV series, the new fund for cultural film funding created as a supplement to the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) as a result of the commitment shown by State Minister for Culture Prof. Dr. Monika Grütters, as well as the increase in funding allocated by the Länder of Berlin and Brandenburg to the Medienboard.

Albrecht Gerber, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal State of Brandenburg: „The combined media hub of Berlin-Brandenburg is already characterised today by an exceptional concentration of highly qualified media professionals and a very good media infrastructure. With the new backlot set at Studio Babelsberg, the region’s position in the international competition will be strengthened in a sustainable way. I am sure that once again many successful German and international films will be made in the Neue Berliner Straße. They will continue to shape the capital region's image as a hub for film shooting and production. I would also like to thank in this context the Management Board of Studio Babelsberg for this important investment decision. At the same time, I would like to thank the City of Potsdam, the Senate Chancellery of Berlin, the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH, and the ILB for their active support of the project over the past three years.”

Background information on Neue Berliner Straße:

The new backlot set with four streets in different architectural styles is being built on an area of over 15,000 sqm immediately adjacent to the film studios in Potsdam's Wetzlarer Straße. This plot of land had already been acquired by Studio Babelsberg for the construction of the new set two years ago. The Neue Berliner Straße will be about three times larger in its dimensions than the old backlot set (Berliner Straße) where exterior shots were realised for over 200 film productions over the course of 15 years since 1998. The experts of the subsidiary Art Department Studio Babelsberg are responsible for the planning and implementation. The project's realisation will draw from those experiences that the team has gained in recent years, particularly from major international film productions.

Michael Düwel, Managing Director Art Department Studio Babelsberg GmbH: „The new set has a modular construction and can be flexibly adapted and expanded with digital set extensions and set elements into various street locations, be it New York, London, Berlin or Paris. This will then enable us to provide an individual and swift response to a project's respective needs.”

The combination of a permanent backlot set and adjacent studios as well as workshops and set construction areas guarantees effective production conditions. Due to the film historical significance, the Deutsche Kinemathek has a team documenting the planning process as well as the construction phase of the backlot set.