Accusations of enrichment at the Biennale Bavaria: Günther Knoblauch speaks of agitation and fake news

Former Mayor Günther Knoblauch, representatives of the city and the city council parties reject allegations made by a reader in the OVB local newspapers. He speaks of hate speech and slander

Mühldorf – In a letter to the editor, Erhard Geppert accused Knoblauch of never submitting information on the costs and financing of the local film festival “Biennale Bavaria” and yet applying for public subsidies. Knoblauch, chairman of the Heimatfilmfestival association, complains above all about the “insinuation” that he enriches himself at the festival and earns money with it.

Blatant misstatement

Garlic describes this assertion as a “blatant false statement”, as “slanderous”, as “outrageous”. The staff of the festival office works exclusively for the Biennale.

“Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to cope with the huge tasks,” he said. “They don’t do anything for me.

Most of the money goes into organizing the festival

Knoblauch puts the rent for the office at just under 300 euros, the actual costs would be between 700 and 1000 euros a month. “Where should I have an advantage?” Most of the money goes directly into the organization of the festival.

Knoblauch calls the allegations of the letter to the editor “baiting and fake news”, including the statements that he had not submitted any documents to the city on the association’s finances.

This statement supports representatives of the city and the city council.

City Council support

So writes the parliamentary group leader of the Greens, Dr. Matthias Kraft: “The statement submitted contains information on income and expenditure in a wealth of detail that I have not seen with any other of the many subsidies from the city.” Kraft also points out that numerous representatives of the municipalities are on the board of the sponsoring association sitting, among them Mühldorf’s mayor Michael Hetzl.

The Mühldorfer finance committee last approved a 20,000 euro subsidy in October 2020, after having postponed the decision four weeks earlier. In the first round, the committee was missing documents that were available before the decision was made in October. Mayor Michael Hetzl confirmed this process and emphasized that the city requires precise documents for financing with every application. “We insist on that at every club, including the Biennale.”

This should also apply to the next Biennale in 2023. However, the association is now asking for an annual subsidy of 10,000 euros instead of the previously planned 20,000 euros every two years. A decision by the finance committee is still pending.

Cost of the festival at 400 000 euros

Knoblauch put the costs for next year’s Biennale at 400,000 euros, and the municipalities involved have already confirmed their participation.

According to Knoblauch, despite corona restrictions, 2,500 visitors came to the films in the first festival year 2021, and a total of 5,000 to all events such as panel discussions. “Other festival organizers were impressed by the number of visitors and would have been happy to achieve such numbers.” Markus Honervogt