Ari Folman’s The Congress Picks up German Funding

Filmstiftung NRW also gives money to Til Schweiger animated feature

COLOGNE, Germany - The Congress, Ari Folman’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated animated documentary Waltz With Bashir, has picked up €700,000 ($963,000) in production funding from Filmstiftung NRW in Germany.

The feature, starring Robin Wright, is a loose adaptation of the novella The Congress from sci-fi writer Stanislaw Lem (Solaris) and will be half live action and half 2D animation.
In the first, live-action half, Wright plays an actress who signs over her identity to a movie studio, who agree to use an ageless Avatar of her likeness in films, keeping her 32 forever on screen. The second, animated section takes place 20 years later, when Wright’s characters’ contract is up for renegotiation. The studio has since been bought by a pharmaceutical company. They want to turn the actress’ identity into a drug for public consumption.
France’s Les Armateurs and Le Pacte are producing The Congress together with Cologne-based Pandora Film. Folman will do part of the production for the animated segment of the film in Cologne. The Congress is budgeted at around $10 million and is set for a 2013 release.
On the other side of the scale, German star Til Schweiger (Inglorious Basterds) has picked up €800,000 ($1.1 million) in NRW funding for his own animated feature. Schweiger will adapt his children’s book Rabbit Without Ears and Two-Eared Chick for the screen. The book, which Schweiger wrote together will illustrator Klaus Baumgart, is inspired by Schweiger’s hit Rabbit Without Ears film franchise. Schweiger will direct the animated feature together with veteran cartoon director Thilo Graf Rothkirch (Laura’s Star).

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