Deutsche Columbia building 'Friendship!'

Sony Pictures Int'l unit producing buddy comedy

COLOGNE, Germany -- "Freundschaft!" (Friendship!), a buddy comedy set in the days just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, will be the first feature production for Sony Pictures International's newly revived German production outfit Deutsche Columbia Pictures Film Produktion.

Deutsche Columbia will produce "Freundschaft!" together with Quirin Berg and Max Wiedemann, the team behind Oscar winner "The Lives of Others," and Til Schweiger and Tom Zickler's Barefoot Films.

Matthias Schweighofer ("The Red Baron") will star as a young East German who uses his newfound freedom to travel to San Francisco to search for his father, who fled the GDR years before.

Markus Goller will direct from a screenplay by Oliver Ziegenbalg, the writer behind Schweiger's in-production medieval parody "1_ Knights -- In Search of the Ravishing Princess Herzelinde."

Deutsche Columbia vp Maike Haas, who joined from Disney to Sony's German operations early this year, will oversee production. Sony will release "Freundshaft!" in Germany.
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