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Egoli Tossell readies bold slate

EXCLUSIVE: German outfit readies Hoffman, Plummer, Chelsom films, preps US tie-up.

German production outfit Egoli Tossell Film and parent company Film House Germany, is in Cannes talking to investors about an impressive slate of projects in addition to market announcement Ivanhoe, the ambitious adventure film they are producing with Thunder Road founder Basil Iwanyk.

“We will have some exciting cast on Ivanhoe, including some big British talent,” Egoli Tossell’s Jens Meurer told Screen.

“The second major project we’re talking to investors about is English-language epic The Symphony,” continued The Last Station producer, in town with Film House’s Christian Angermayer.

Michael Hoffman, whom Egoli Tossell collaborated with on The Last Station, is newly attached to direct the film and will be in Cannes to discuss the film with investors.

Based on the true story of the daring performance of Dmitry Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony during the 900-day siege of the city by Nazi troops, Egoli Tossell will produce with their Russian Ark partner Andrey Deryabin. 

“It’s one of the biggest stories about the Second World War that has yet to be told,” said the Rush co-producer.

Renowned conductor Valery Gergiev is also aboard the €20m-budgeted project which is aiming for an early 2015 shoot.

The producers will also be renewing their successful collaboration with The Last Station actor Christopher Plummer as they have recently boarded Atom Egoyan’s Robert Lantos-produced next film Remember as a co-producer and are in development on The Kaiser’s Last Kiss, Simon Burke’s adaptation of Alan Judd’s novel, in which Plummer is attached to play Kaiser Wilhelm II. 

Egoli Tossell is producing with CAA co-founder Bill Haber and Lou Pitt while acclaimed UK theatre director David Leveaux will direct.

The company’s growing number of tie-ups with US partners includes recent under-the-radar backing of Sarah Silverman drama I Smile Back and the formidable European producer is now on the verge of announcing a more permanent US collaboration.

“This is a time when on a per-project basis or on a more systematic basis we could have a presence through a partner in Los Angeles. The next logical step is to be more present in the US and Asia.”

Back in Europe, the company is also excited about a renewed collaboration with Hector and the Search for Happiness writer-director Peter Chelsom.

The project, an untitled Dickens family feature written by Samantha Silva, about how the novelist came to write A Christmas Carol, which Chelsom has re-written with Tinker Lindsay.by Samantha Silva  

“This is for Dickens what Shakespeare in Love was for Shakespeare. It’s both funny and moving. There is talk of Hector 2 but this could well be the next film for us with Peter.”

Creative England and German fund FFA have put development support behind Egoli Tossell’s David Bowie and Iggy Pop biopic Lust for Life, which is aiming for an early 2015 start.

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