Aragon Media enlists for 'Emden Men'


Aragon Media International, the Gibraltar-based film financing group headed by Pino Curcio, is backing the World War I drama "Emden Men," a €20 million ($27 million) production based on the true story of a group of German soldiers who struggled to get from China to Berlin in 1914.

The film's title comes from the German battleship SMS Emden, which was sunk by allied forces in the South China Sea in 1914 at the beginning of WWI -- only 32 of the ship's crew survived. With no resources and just two machine guns, they made their way home, traveling 10,000 miles to reach Berlin.

AMi will fully finance the production, which is set to begin principal photography in September 2008. Berengar Pfahl, the German director who shot AMi's first feature film, "Shanghai Baby," will also helm "Emden Men." No above-the-line talent is yet attached to the German-language project. "Shanghai Baby" has its market debut at Cannes this year. The drama, starring Bai Ling, is being sold by Arclight.

Before beginning "Emden," AMi and Pfahl will team up for a multimedia project titled "L.A." about three Germans who travel to Hollywood to fulfill their dreams.

Pfahl and AMi will produce three different versions of "L.A." -- one exclusively for the Internet, one as a 40x50 minute television series and one as a full-length feature film. The web version begins production in July, the TV series starts shooting October 2007 and the film version is planned for a February start.