Dial Kinowelt for 'Murder'

Thriller launches new shingle's slate

German indie Kinowelt on Monday announced the first slate of projects for its newly formed production company, Neue Kinowelt Filmproduktion.

Run by producers Hermann Florin and Boris Schonfelder and Kinowelt managing director Bertil le Claire, NKF will kick off its initial slate with the mystery thriller "Kaifeck Murder."

Scheduled to begin shooting in late October with Esther Gronenborn at the helm, "Murder" is being produced in partnership with 24 Frames Film and stars Benno Furmann. Pro7 has German television rights.

Other notable projects include "Robbi, Tobbi und das Fliewatuut," based on the popular German puppet-series from the '70s; bestseller-adaptation "Russendisko"; and Middle Ages-comedy "Zwei Ritter geben Vollgas," directed by and featuring German star Til Schweiger.

German-language Bollywood musical "Indisch Heiraten," political comedy "Superland" and "Der Mann aus Ardistan," a biopic about German author Karl May's travels to the Far East, are among the projects in development.

NKF Projects will be financed with Kinowelt's profits from its home entertainment, licensing and theatrical-distribution divisions, according to le Claire.

"We, of course, invest in development and have supplied Neue Kinowelt Filmproduktion with funds that enable it to pursue its own projects and co-productions," le Claire said, adding that the projects will be traditionally financed, with a sizable amount of the budget coming from state funding institutions and co-producing television stations.

Florin, who calls the company's position within the Kinowelt group "a producer's wish come true," stressed that he welcomes the chance to work closely with the company's sales and distribution departments.

NKF plans to produce 2-3 in-house films each year, with 4-5 co-productions completing the slate. Budget numbers were not given, but Schonfelder said they should not exceed the regular range of €2.5 million to €7.5 million ($3.4 million -$10.1 million).