37 projects set for Berlin co-prod'n market

Seventh Berlinale co-production forum runs Feb.14-16

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COLOGNE, Germany -- The directorial debuts of Danish star Ulrich Thomsen ("Brothers," "Celebration") and Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass ("The Visitor," "Lemon Tree,") are among the projects picked for the seventh Berlinale co-production market, which runs Feb.14-16 during the Berlin International Film Festival (Feb. 11-21).

Thomsen's "In Embryo" is being set up as a German production between Berlin-based cine plus -- whose credits include Matthias Glasner's "This Is Love" starring fellow Dane Jens Albinus -- and Munich's Royal Pony Film.

Hiam Abbass' directorial debut, titled "The Inheritance," will be pitched as an Israeli/French co-pro between Alma and Mozer Films of Israel and France's Agat Films.

The two projects are among 37 picked for this year's market. All will be in Berlin looking for financing and production partners to go from paper to screen.

Other high-profile titles shilling at the 2010 co-production market include "Elena" from Russia's Non-Stop Production, which has art house favorite Andrey Zvyagintsev ("The Return") attached; "The Have-Nots" from Munich's K5 Film, based on the best-seller by Katharina Hacker; and "The Notebook" from Berlin/based Intuit Pictures, with Hungarian helmer Janos Szasz ("Opium," "The Witman Boys") on board.

In an indication, perhaps, of how small the international indie film world can be, "Opium" starred, yes, Ulrich Thomson.

Berlin's co-production market has a good track record. Some 40% of the projects selected over the past years -- nearly 100 films -- have already been completed. This year's Berlin Festival competition lineup includes a former co-pro market pitch: "The Hunter," an Iranian/German production from director Rafi Pitts.
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