German financier Apollo Media is backing five high-profile US projects via its fourth film fund, including Irvin Kershner's $15m historical romantic drama Cecilia, which is set to star Virginia Ledoyen and Jeremy Irons.

Buena Vista has worldwide rights to the film about an affair between the composer Puccini and a young singer. Kershner has also written the script along with Mitchell Lifton.

Apollo has also boarded Brian Burns' $7.9m love triangle comedy You Stupid Man, which is set to star Milla Jovovich and Denise Richards. The film is being produced by Artists Management Group and New Legend Media, which was created earlier this year by the merger of Germany's ACC Entertainment and LA production company Legend Entertainment. Shooting is scheduled to start next month in Toronto and New York.

Other addition's to Apollo's slate include $31m suspense action thriller Dial, to be directed by Peter Hyams (End Of Days, The Relic) and two projects being produced by Crystal Sky Communications - Baby Geniuses II and cyber-horror film The Apollo fund will also co-finance UK-Austria co-production, The Fourth Man, to be directed by Robert Dornhelm, which spins a tale around Orson Welles in occupied Vienna during the making of The Third Man.

Apollo plans to raise up to Euros50m from private German investors, to co-produce between seven and nine features. Apollo's participation in each project will range between 25%-50% of the budget.

Previous Apollo funds have co-produced projects as diverse as Alan Rudolph's Investigating Sex, starring Nick Nolte, Neve Campbell and Til Schweiger; Hyams' costume drama D'Artagnan; Bruce Beresford's Alma Mahler biopic Alma - Bride Of The Wind; and Christine Lahti's My First Mister, which will open next year's Sundance Film Festival.