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German Film Board finances Cruise movie

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    Tom Cruise's latest movie has received a much-needed boost from Germany--the country's film board will grant subsidies worth $6.5 million to the project. Cruise is playing World War II hero Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg--who led an unsuccessful plot to assassinate Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler--in new film Valkyrie.

    However, efforts to shoot the movie on military sites have been thwarted by Germany's Defense Ministry, allegedly because Cruise's Scientology beliefs are viewed as a "moneymaking cult" instead of a legitimate church by the German government. But the government-backed Federal Film Board (FFA) reportedly endorsed funding for the movie on Wednesday, which has allayed fears the country is fundamentally opposed to the project. A Berlin official says, "The Cruise film will get 4.8 million euros."

    A spokeswoman for the FFA declined to confirm the subsidies, but said the board had agreed some grants on Wednesday. Subsidies are available to any film as long as a German-based producer is involved and certain percentages of the costs fall in Germany.

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