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Capital for Creatives

NRW Bank

The NRW.BANK is forerunner in financing models for the creative business.

At home on the red carpets of the world, the Berlinale today, Cannes tomorrow, shooting dates on Malta, in New York and Berlin: the most glorious film ideas and dreams of fame and glamour remain unachievable without the necessary capital. Creative ideas become reality with the NRW.BANK film financing, the creative financial fund and the micro-loans of the NRW development bank.

Markus Röhle and his team, responsible for film financing in the NRW.BANK, received nearly 200 requests in their first year alone. The high demand results from the type of financing, which is pre-financed with the future profits from the marketing of the films. »In contract to the international banking market, such gap financings is scarcely offered in Germany, giving NRW a true unique selling point«, said Röhle. »The goal of our film financing is to promote NRW as a film location and a relationship to NRW is very important to us. Either the film company is located here or it intends to realise the film here.« NRW has the largest and most modern film studios in Europe, the most diverse film funding opportunities in Germany, a professional services structure and, with the financing offer of the NRW.BANK, the best prospects for the production of internationally successful films.

Michael Stölting

»The media location NRW profits to a great extent from innovative small and medium-sized companies. Our numerous, custom-made offers ensure that NRW will continue to be a leader. We see ourselves as a reliable partner for companies in North Rhine-Westphalia, especially during the coming challenges for the media industry, such as digitalisation and increasing convergence.«

Michael Stölting, Director of the NRW.BANK


International Success

The NRW.BANK has clearly placed its focus on productions which can compete internationally. »The film doesn’t have to be a blockbuster«, Markus Röhle explains. »What is important is that the film meets international standards and the material is of interest around the globe.« An example is »Desert Flower«, the film adaptation of the international bestseller by Waris Dirie of Somalia. Michael »Bully« Herbig’s production of »Vicky the Viking« is another film of this type. »The largest hurdle on the way from the screenplay to the studio is the money«, says Markus Röhle. Aside from the funds of the producers and the film development funds, the required capital is generally raised by the advance sale of distribution rights to TV broadcasters and distribution companies. With financing from the NRW.BANK, the producer first has to sell a portion of the rights after completion of the film, allowing them to make a higher profit from the distribution proceeds.

»We find again and again that many companies in the industry lack sufficient capital«, says Peter Güllmann, director of the investments department of the NRW.BANK. »On the one hand, this is due to the typical small-scale company structures, on the other hand, we have observed reticence on the part of banks when it comes to financing requests, which is particularly due to the difficulties involved in the economic evaluation and analysis of creative content and market opportunities of the companies.«

The Location NRW

The gaming and software industries as well as the design industries are particular driving forces within the cultural and creative economy in NRW – and these are primarily composed of small companies. »The micro-loan offer of the NRW.BANK can be suitable for small companies within the creative economy who have small investment needs, for example. For high-growth, innovative companies with correspondingly higher needs for capital, the NRW.BANK creative economy fund can come into question«, says Christoph Büth, director of small business finance in the investment department of the NRW.BANK, of the equity fund launched at the beginning of 2009. Micro-loans can be an optimal financing instrument, especially for entrepreneurs. The NRW.BANK can close financing gaps for expanding companies within the creative economy with their equity funds.


With a balance sheet total of nearly 160 billion euros, the NRW.BANK is the largest state development bank in Germany. It is competitively neutral and acts as a partner to the banks and savings banks in the areas of supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, communal and infrastructure financing, supporting subsidised housing and the support of individuals. The owners of the NRW.BANK are the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (98.6 per cent) as well as the regional associations Rhineland and Westphalia-Lippe (each 0.7 per cent). It employs approximately 1,200 persons and offers more than 30 training positions.


Office Düsseldorf

Kavalleriestr. 22
40213 Düsseldorf
Phone 02 11/9 17 41-0
Fax 02 11/9 17 41-1800

Office Münster

Friedrichstr. 1
48145 Münster
Phone 02 51/9 17 41-0
Fax 02 51/9 17 41-2921

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