Red Cliff Productions, the joint venture production company between public German outfit Advanced Medien AG and Hollywood-based director Wolfgang Petersen, has named Gail Katz president and CEO and unveiled its first production psychological thriller Fear Itself, which is set to go into production in March 2001.

Petersen formed Red Cliff with Advanced specifically to produce films from other directors while he will maintain Radiant Productions as the banner for films that he will direct. Advanced will finance Red Cliff under a five-year deal with Petersen starting in Nov 2000. Its mandate is to produce two studio-level films a year.

Katz's relationship with Petersen began when she was co-producer on his first US film Shattered. She was then executive producer on In The Line Of Fire and producer on his three subsequent hits Outbreak, Air Force One and The Perfect Storm. Her other producing credits include Bicentennial Man, Red Corner and Mighty Joe Young.

Written by Patrick Cirillo, Fear Itself is the story of a paranoid schizophrenic who uncovers a conspiracy leading to the White House but cannot convince anyone to believe him. The next two Red Cliff productions scheduled to go into production in the second half of 2001 are European drama Cafe Berlin and action thriller Ten Good Men.

Ten Good Men is a millennial thriller written by Doug Cook and David Weisberg about a man who finds himself in a battle of good and evil; Cafe Berlin is based on the novel by Harold Nebenzal about a Jew running a club in pre-war Berlin who resorts to helping the underground.