Odeon firms up '07 slate


COLOGNE, Germany -- David Groenwold's production and distribution shingle, Odeon Film, is firming up its slate for the new year as features from Doris Doerrie and newcomer Adnan Koese have rounded out their financing.

Doerrie's "Hanami" on Friday secured a €500,000 ($665,000) cash boost from state subsidy body FFF Bayern. The film is a break from the light romantic comedies typical for the helmer. In "Hanami," a newly widowed man, played by Elmar Wepper, travels to Japan in a quest to make sense of his life.

"Hanami" already has €300,000 ($400,000) in financing from the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and is set to begin shooting next spring. The Olga Film production will be released in Germany on Odeon distribution label Majestic Filmverleih.

One of Odeon's co-productions, the sports-themed drama "Ironman" also received support from the FFF in the form of a €150,000 ($200,000) production grant. The feature, directed by Koese and produced by Munich-based Enigma Film, tells the true story of Andreas Niedrig, who went from being a junkie to becoming one of the world's leading tri-athletes.

Max Riemelt ("Before The Fall," "The Red Cockadoo") will star as Niedrig, alongside German TV actors Axel Stein and Jasmin Schwiers.

"Ironman" has secured about $1.5 million in backing from various state subsidy groups.

Other features on the Odeon/Majestic slate include Alexander Adolph's documentary "Die Hochstapler," Florian Gallenberger's historic epic "John Rabe," Sherry Hormann's biopic "Desert Flower" and the drama "Nordwand" from Philipp Stoelzl.