Berlin's Co-Production Market picks projects

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COLOGNE, Germany -- "Outskirts," a new script from Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu ("4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"), is one of the higher-profile projects to have been chosen for the fifth Berlinale Co-Production Market, the film financing event that runs Feb. 10-12 during the Berlin International Film Festival.

Fellow Romanian Anatol Reghintovschi, an assistant director on Francis Ford Coppola's "Youth Without Youth," plans to make Mungiu's project his debut feature.

Other highlights among the 35 projects picked for this year's co-pro market include new works from established art house directors Andrei Zvyaginstev ("The Banishment"), Agnieszka Holland ("Copying Beethoven") and Deepa Mehta ("Bollywood/Hollywood").

Since launching in 2004, about 59 projects packaged at the Berlinale co-pro markets have made the jump into production. This year's competition title, "Heart of Fire" from Italian director Luigi Falorni, found its final backers at last year's event.

In addition to the projects selected by co-pro manager Sonja Heinen and her team, the in-development "The Hunter" from director Rafi Pitts ("It's Winter"), which was picked by Berlin's World Cinema Fund for backing, will be attending the co-production market. Three productions participating in the Rotterdam Festival's CineMart also will head to Berlin as part of a cooperation between the two festivals.

This year, the co-pro market will again cooperate with the Berlinale's Talent Campus to pick and present 10 promising ideas from young directors from around the world.

The budgets of all feature films selected for the Berlinale Co-Production Market range from 1 million euros-12 million euros ($1.47 million-$17.6 million), of which at least 30% already has to be in place for the film to qualify.

Producers hungry for new material can also head to Breakfast & Books, the co-production market's cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair. On Feb. 12, some of Europe's leading publishers will present some of their new literary titles suitable for screen adaptation.

All co-production market events will take place at Berlin's House of Representatives, directly across the street from the European Film Market building the Martin-Gropius Bau.
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