Red Sun rises with debut films from top German TV director


Rainer Matsutani, one of Germany's most in-demand TV directors, is making the leap into the international film world with his U.K.-German shingle Red Sun Pictures, trolling around Cannes to secure final financing for the company's first two planned features: "Daydream Believer" and "Replay."

"Daydream," which Matsutani co-wrote with wife Noemi Domokos, is being set up as a $6 million co-production with Berlin-based Akkord Film. The psychological drama centers on a man who is haunted by a "Waltons"-style TV family that comforted him in his youth but now threatens his sanity.

"Replay," which Matsutani co-wrote with Fabian Marquez ("Better Luck Tomorrow") is an $8 million sci-fi thriller about a sadistic game played on a modern-day woman by people in the future. Matsutani is set to direct both films, with shooting planned for 2009.

Matsutani launched Red Sun under the radar four years ago. His partner is U.K. producer Alex Boden, who replaced company founder Tim Cranage after he died. Matsutani is known in Germany for his big-budget TV dramas, including the pope-assassination drama "Final Proclamation" and the disaster movie "The Inferno." He also directed several episodes of the cult sci-fi miniseries "Lexx: The Dark Zone." (partialdiff)