Medienboard funds Schweiger, Roehler pics

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COLOGNE, Germany -- German boxoffice star Til Schweiger and art-house darling Oskar Roehler have secured backing for their latest projects, with Schweiger's new romantic comedy "Keinohrhasen" and Roehler's social drama/love story "Lulu und Jimi" receiving funding from regional subsidy group Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

"Keinohrhasen" will be Schweiger's first film as producer, director and star since local hit "Barefoot" in 2005. Schweiger will play a macho womanizer forced to do community service at a local kindergarten, where he locks horns with teacher Anna, played by Nora Tschirner ("FC Venus").

"Keinohrhasen" received $1.7 million in funding from the Medienboard. Schweiger will produce the film through his Barefoot Films shingle.

Schweiger's latest film as a producer and star, director Reto Salimbeni's "One Way," opened at No. 6 on the German boxoffice chart last weekend.

"Lulu und Jimi" will be Roehler's first since the crossover success of "Elementary Particles." The new film is set in Germany in the 1950s and is a love story between the wealthy Lulu and the African-American Jimi America.

Roehler's work is often compared to that of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and the story of "Lulu und Jimi" has several parallels with Fassbinder's racially charged "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" (1974). Munich-based Sperl + Schott Film will produce. "Lulu und Jimi" received $582,000 in production subsidies from the Medienboard.

Other projects backed by the Medienboard include "The Girl in the Cafe," a local adaptation of the BBC/HBO production about love amidst the G8 economic summit, which Egoli Tossell will produce; and Andrew Horn's documentary "Twisted Sister," about the Dee Snider-fronted metal band of the 1980s.
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