The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW GmbH (formerly Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen) with an average annual funding volume of over 35 million euros is one of the most important funding agencies in Germany and Europe. The Filmstiftung is based in Düsseldorf and is responsible for the cultural and economic promotion of the film and media industry in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to the state and WDR, the shareholders in NRW also include ZDF and RTL.
In 1991, Prime Minister Johannes Rau and WDR Director Friedrich Nowottny, as founding partners, initiated regional film funding in the form of a GmbH. The declared goal was to make North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) an important film country in Europe. The Düsseldorf model was later followed by further regional funding in Germany and Europe.
On June 19, 2011, the organization announced the change of name from Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen to Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. The reason given for this was that the company "in the future will also focus on location marketing and the promotion of innovative media content in addition to classic film funding". In this move, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW also took over the tasks of Mediencluster NRW GmbH, which was previously responsible for new media.