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Karsten Kastelan

  • MGM in talks to launch pay channel in Germany


    MGM Worldwide Television Group is in talks to launch a movie channel in Germany, according to Financial Times Deutschland.
  • Babelsberg to launch multimedia centre


    Germany's Babelsberg Studios is planning to add a state-of-the-art multimedia production centre to house up to 30 companies, with construction scheduled to start as soon as spring 2001.
  • Media[netCom] losses double due to start-up costs


    German video-on-demand (VoD) company media[netCom] has reported that its losses more than doubled in the six months to September 30, from Euros461,000 to Euros1.16m, due to the cost of building an infrastructure and licensing film packages.
  • Schuendler to head co-production at Bavaria


    Oliver Schuendler has been appointed to replace Carina Vogel as head of co-production at Bavaria Media, the international production and rights arm of German mini-major Bavaria Film.
  • Koenig's Helkon shares to stay in the family


    Germany's Helkon Media has announced that shares in the company belonging to the late Werner Koenig will be inherited by his mother, who is the sole beneficiary.
  • Kinowelt enters Bulgaria with Duga, Solaris


    Germany's Kinowelt is continuing to build up its Eastern European presence by setting up two distribution outfits in Bulgaria, one in partnership with local theatrical distributor Duga Entertainment and the other with video company Solaris.
  • Jetzt Oder Nie bags Luenen audience award


    Lars Buechel's Jetzt Oder Nie won the audience award at this year's Kinofest Luenen (November 16-19).
  • Kinowelt provides NBC Europe with prime-time fare


    Germany's Kinowelt has sold another tranche of titles to German TV, this time to cable station NBC Europe which plans to run them in prime-time slots, replacing its Tonight Show and Late Night With Conan O'Brian.
  • Bavaria, Rai strike co-production pact


    Munich-based Bavaria Media and Italy's Rai Cinema have formed a long-term alliance under which they will develop and co-produce television projects, and eventually theatrical features.
  • Helkon co-founder Werner Koenig dies in accident


    Werner Koenig, co-founder of Germany's Helkon Media, died on Sunday after being caught in an avalanche near Verbier, Switzerland, whilst scouting locations for upcoming feature The Extremists.
  • Meyer's Spoils wins funding from NRW


    German regional funding body Filmstiftung NRW has awarded $1.1m (DM2.5m) to Spoils, a co-production between Germany's Dazu Film and Belgium's Corsan, which is set to star Alec Baldwin and Linda Fiorentino.
  • Lost Killers wins main award at Cottbus


    Georgian director Dito Tsintsadze's Lost Killers was awarded the $8,800 (DM20,000) top prize at the 10th annual Cottbus Film Festival in Germany, which spotlights Eastern European films.
  • Germany's Filmfest Luenen to present editing prize


    For the second time, German film magazine Der Schnitt will present an award for Best Editing at the Filmfest Luenen (November 16-19) which will be accompanied by a cash prize of $6,600 (DM15,000) from funding body Filmstiftung NRW.
  • Berlin Film Festival to feature Lang tribute


    The 2001 edition of the Berlin Film Festival will honour director Fritz Lang with a retrospective, screening the complete filmography of the German director, who died in Los Angeles in 1976. Many of the prints that will screen have been restored from original negatives.
  • HOT joins bidding for Murdoch's TM3


    Munich-based home shopping network HOT Networks is in talks to acquire a majority stake in German broadcaster TM3, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Kirch Media was previously seen as a front-runner to buy the channel which has less than a 3% share of the German market.
  • CineMedia, TeleMuenchen pact for digital film


    Germany's CineMedia and TeleMuenchen have entered into a strategic alliance to develop digital cinema. TeleMuenchen will take a 7% stake in CineMedia as part of the deal.
  • Vienna gives top prize to Balkan drama


    Goran Rebic's take on the Balkan war, The Punishment, won the award for best Austrian film at the Vienna International Film Festival (October 13-25).
  • Mechanic named as Berlin jury president


    Former 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO Bill Mechanic will preside over the jury at the next Berlin Film Festival, to be held February 7-18, 2001.
  • Splendid launches TV division


    German rights trader Splendid Medien has launched a New York-based television arm, headed by TV veteran Douglas J. Schwalbe.
  • Viennale to open with Le Gout Des Autres


    Agnes Jaoui's French hit Le Gout Des Autres will open this year's Viennale - Vienna International Film Festival (October 13-25). Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys will close proceedings.
  • Desire to kickstart Mannheim-Heidelberg


    The International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg has announced its line-up for this year's event (November 9 -18), which opens with the premiere of Desire, a German-Canadian co-production, directed by Colleen Murphy.
  • Constantin strikes output deal with USA Films


    Bernd Eichinger's Constantin Film has signed an output deal with USA Films giving it German-speaking theatrical, free TV and video rights to the company's product until 2003.
  • Murphy, Bauer to head Euro production for RTL


    RTL Group has appointed Mike Murphy and Wolf Bauer as joint chiefs of its continental European production activities.
  • Mojto, Kogel appointed KirchMedia deputy chairmen


    Jan Mojto, who heads Kirch's Programme Division, and former SAT1 managing director Fred Kogel, have been appointed joint deputy chairmen of KirchMedia's management board.
  • Germany's VCL buys Denmark's Scanbox


    Datty Ruth's Munich-based media company VCL Film and Medien has acquired 100% of Danish distributor Scanbox Entertainment.
  • Kinowelt confirms submission for $200m loan


    Germany's Kinowelt has confirmed that it has submitted plans for a $200m loan to the Frankfurt stock exchange.
  • Blair Witch kicks off Jugendfilm re-release drive


    German distributorJugendfilm is to handle all re-releases of parent company Kinowelt, starting with another outing for The Blair Witch Project ahead of rivaldistributor Highlight's premiere of Blair Witch Project 2: Book of Shadows.
  • TEAM to file counter suit against Germany's FFP


    Los Angeles-based TEAM Communications Group is to file a counter suit today against German media company FFP Entertainment and its largest shareholders Datty Ruth and Michael Smeaton, alleging amongst other things breach of contract and fraud.
  • Splendid expands library with Polyband buy


    Cologne-based rights trader Splendid Medien has acquired a 100% share of Bavarian record company and video label Polyband in order to further build up its library of video and DVD rights.
  • FFA supports Princess, Dancer's German release


    Tom Tykwer's The Princess And The Warrior and Lars von Trier's Dancer In The Dark are among eight titles to receive distribution funding from the German Federal Film Board (FFA). Dancer is being distributed by Constantin while Tykwer's film will be released by X Verleih.
  • Kirch-backed regional channel refused licence


    In an unprecedented move, German media authority Landesanstalt fur Rundfunk Nordrhein-Westfalen (LfR) has refused a licence to proposed German cable channel TV.NRW 1.
  • Kosslick talks up Berlin in Babelsberg speech


    Berlin-Brandenburg is currently dragging behind other German states as a production location, but will soon play catch-up, according to incoming Berlin festival chief Dieter Kosslick, who delivered the keynote speech at this week's Babelsberg 2000 producers' convention.
  • Weber takes top post at Bavaria Media


    Michael Weber has been named managing director of Bavaria Film's rights handling division Bavaria Media. He was formerly head of the company's international sales arm, Bavaria Film International.
  • Boll set to quit TaunusFilm International


    Uwe Boll will leave his post as managing director of German production outfit TaunusFilm's international arm - TaunusFilm International - on September 1 to concentrate on his directing career. He will continue to serve as a consultant, while TaunusFilm CEO Wolfgang Grass will oversee the subsidiary.
  • Splendid acquires majority stake in Enteractive


    Germany's Splendid Medien has acquired an 85% stake in newly-launched multimedia company Enteractive which specialises in developing content for DVD and internet distribution.
  • Werner goes international with Platinum


    German cartoon character, Werner, the star of three hugely successful feature films, is set to enjoy an international TV career.
  • Germany's media[netCom] grabs Highlight titles


    German video-on-demand (VoD) company media[netCom] has signed a deal with Swiss-based rights trader Highlight Communications giving it VoD rights to all Highlight-licensed pictures.
  • ProSieben shareholders approve SAT1 merger


    German broadcaster ProSieben said today (August 22) that its two main shareholders - KirchMedia and retailer ReWe - have approved its merger with fellow broadcaster SAT1.
  • German exhibs team for on-line ticketing venture


    German exhibitors CinemaxX, UFA Theater and Kieft & Kieft Filmtheater are joining forces to launch what they claim will be Germany's first nationwide on-line ticketing service.
  • Kinowelt first-half turnover soars by 63%


    German mini-studio Kinowelt reported a 63% increase in turnover for the first six months of 2000 to $115.5m (DM247.3m) compared to $70.7m (DM151.5m) in the first half of last year.
  • Advanced signs on for MGM's Heartbreakers


    Munich-based Advanced Medien is co-financing MGM's Heartbreakers, starring Sigourney Weaver, Gene Hackman and Jennifer Love Hewitt, in return for German-speaking theatrical rights and a percentage of worldwide box office receipts.
  • Das Werk buys stake in new producer


    German post-production giant Das Werk has acquired a 25% stake in FutureWorks Crossmedia Production, a Munich-based events agency which plans to expand into film production and marketing.
  • Constantin doubles turnover, posts profit increase


    Germany's Constantin Film has reported that turnover doubled to $57.6m (DM125.1m) and pre-tax profit increased to $4.8m (DM10.4m) in the first half of the current financial year.
  • Telepool takes Swiss rights to Warner Bros package


    German rights trading company Telepool has acquired free-TV rights for German-speaking Switzerland to a package of 80 films from Warner Bros including The Matrix, Eyes Wide Shut, Three Kings and You've Got Mail.
  • Constantin rings up $43m in video, TV sales


    Germany's Constantin Film has sold a package of free TV, pay-TV and video/DVD rights to broadcasters such as Kirch Media and ZDF and video companies VCL Film + Medien and BMG Video for a total $42.5m (DM90m).
  • Kinowelt grabs Rings merchandising rights


    M.R. Kinowelt Merchandising (MRKM), the recently formed joint venture between German mini-major Kinowelt and Munich-based M.R. Merchandising & Retail, has acquired the German merchandising rights to New Line Cinema's upcoming Lord Of The Rings trilogy
  • German half-year box office up 13%


    German cinema attendance rose 12% to 74.7 million admissions in the first half of 2000 according to the German Federal Film Board, the FFA, compared to 66.7 million during the first half of 1999.
  • EM.TV exchanges investments for Crown Media stake


    German family programming and merchandising giant EM.TV is taking an 8.2% stake in the US' Crown Media Holdings in exchange for its stakes in Crown's US pay-TV station Odyssey Network and Asian Kermit Channel.
  • Kinowelt enters Russia with Scriba's Gemini


    German mini-studio Kinowelt is continuing its expansion into Eastern Europe by establishing a Russian distribution outfit, Gemini Kinomir, in partnership with Bodo Scriba's Moscow-based distributor Gemini International.
  • Intertainment reports 848% jump in revenues


    Germany's Intertainment has reported an 848% increase in revenues to $64.5m (DM134.4m) for the first half of 2000, while pre-tax profit improved 949% to $30.5m (DM63.6m).
  • Bavaria snaps up film rights to Danella's novels


    Munich-based Bavaria Film has purchased film rights to all 38 novels by German bestselling author Utta Danella and plans to adapt two to three of them a year as TV movies.
  • Kirch Media unveils new internet platform


    Germany's Kirch Media has unveiled the creation of a new internet platform which will be jointly owned with KirchPayTV and affiliated broadcasters Pro Sieben, Sat 1 Media and DSF.
  • Middelhoff comes out on top in German media survey


    Bertelsmann chairman Thomas Middelhoff has been voted the most important player in Germany's media scene in a survey in German magazine TV Today. Leo Kirch came a distant second with 355 to Middelhoff's 435 points. Third place went to Spiegel publisher Rudolf Augstein.
  • Germany's IN-motion takes over US' Myriad for $4m


    German media concern IN-motion has acquired 76% of Kirk D'Amico's US sales operation Myriad Pictures for $4m, only weeks after the Frankfurt-based company went public.
  • RTL shuffles execs to sister channel Vox


    RTL executives Ladya van Eeden and Marko Langer will replace Joerg Schuette as programming chief at RTL sister channel Vox. Van Eeden will be responsible for the fiction division and Schuette will supervise news.
  • German authorities clear News Corp's TM3 deal


    Germany's antitrust commission KEK has approved News Corp's acquisition of the remaining 34% of Munich-based broadcaster TM3 which it does not already own. The Bavarian authorities still have to clear the deal.
  • Saving Grace bags GWFF award at Munich fest


    UK title Saving Grace, directed by Nigel Cole, snatched the High Hopes award, sponsored by the German collection society GWFF, at the Filmfest Muenchen last week (June 24-July 1).
  • Checkpoint, Cinemedia, Senator team for B-movies


    German production and financing outfits Checkpoint Berlin Filmproductions and Cinemedia Film have teamed with local distributor Senator Films to produce a slate of unashamed B-movies under the label Planet B.