Uni Germany taps Willson


COLOGNE, Germany -- Andrea Willson, former head of production at Columbia Pictures' German-language division and now a production executive with Swiss-based Falcom Media Group, has been tapped to head Universal Pictures' new German operation.

Universal co-chairman David Linde is expected to announce Willson's appointment at the Berlin Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday. Linde also will unveil details of the studio's strategy for the Berlin-based division, which will focus on local-language features.

As head of Deutsche Columbia Pictures, Willson had a major hit with her first production, the horror thriller "Anatomy," directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky (Oscar nominee "The Counterfeiters").

After "Anatomy 2" fell well short of the original, Columbia pulled the plug on its German operation. Willson moved to Falcom in 2004 to build up the group's German film division.