Movies

FremantleMedia, RTL Group launch German film studio

MUMBAI: Entertainment brand creator and distributor FremantleMedia and RTL Group have announced plans to launch a new € multi-million German film studio project via its German subsidiary, UFA.

Fremantle says that this will be one of its most significant investments it has made in its creative work, a move that will help boost its large back catalogue of content.

The move is the latest major new initiative from FremantleMedia and comes only weeks after it unveiled a €40 million Talent Fund investment, which was targeted at increasing its network of creative partnerships.

In addition to state and federal state funding, the projects of the new company will attract financing through the newly-created German Film Financing Fund (DFFF).


FremantleMedia‘s UFA is already Germany‘s largest producer of content for TV. However, the new studio will produce full-length feature films for the local market‘s cinemas.


FremantleMedia has set aggressive production targets, capitalising on Germany‘s market for locally produced films. It now has 40 projects in the pipeline that will result in an annual slate of eight films per year from 2010 onwards.


FremantleMedia is also strengthening its executive team in the region and is poised to announce the appointment of Thomas Friedl, a significant hire who is one of the leading names in film distribution in Germany. Friedl is joining from Constantin Film AG.


FremantleMedia CEO Tony Cohen said, "This is one of FremantleMedia‘s most significant investments in drama. Our plan now is to create a high volume of quality feature-length films with full big screen potential. At one time, UFA was a huge name in film production in Germany. The time is right for UFA to again become a major player in the German film market. German film has gone from strength to strength, and we see the market as a springboard for rolling out this local market film studio model to other markets. France and Spain are potential markets for the future."


UFA CEO Wolf Bauer says, "We are one of Germany‘s longest-standing film and TV companies, and the creation of UFA Cinema completes our portfolio. We see huge potential in the German feature film market for a commercially-oriented high quality producer. There are two key factors that make the current economic conditions perfect for producing and commercializing feature films.


"One of them is the new film funding implemented by German cultural minister Bernd Neumann, and the other is the many opportunities for feature films that will arise from the increasing importance of digital distribution. As a result, we are once again putting a great deal of creative effort and economic investment into film production and distribution."


RTL Group CEO Gerhard Zeiler said, "The UFA group has in recent years produced a number of films of theatrical quality that are among the truly magic moments of European television. So the move to the big screen, back to UFA‘s roots, is a logical step. Wolf Bauer, Nico Hofmann and Jürgen Schuster together form a team that has proven its success and creativity. Furthermore, Thomas Peter Friedl, one of Germany‘s best cinema industry executives, will join us. I completely trust this leading, high class team."

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