X-Filme creative pool's Stefan Arndt, named European Producer of the Year at last month's Cinema Expo in Amsterdam, wasn't planning to produce any features this year after the demanding production history of Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin!
But Arndt was tempted back into the producer's chair by Oskar Roehler's next feature Agnes Und Seine Brueder which will go into production in Cologne in mid-August.
Arndt had already been working with Roehler for the last two years on developing another project Der Suesse Duft Der Verzweiflung to be made in English. "Oskar is so productive that I had forbidden him to offer me anything else".
This resolution was broken when he sneaked a look at Agnes' screenplay. "It was just like [Tom Tykwer's] Heaven, a real page-turner and one of the best screenplays I have ever seen in Germany", Arndt told Screen Daily. "On the one hand, it is authentic Oskar, but it also pushes open the door into a larger world. It's a kind of German American Beauty."
The drama about three siblings played by Herbert Knaup, Moritz Bleibtreu and newcomer Martin Weiss will be shot in Cologne and Berlin for 40 days until October.
According to Arndt, 2003 may also see principal photography begin on Dani Levy's long gestating family drama Zucker.
Other projects in development at X-Filme include an adaptation of Holly-Jane Rahlens' coming of age novel Prince William, Maximilian Minsky Und Ich; Wolfgang Becker's English-language comedy Hamstrung (Schinken); Michael Klier's Roter Kakadu, set in Dresden in August 1961 shortly before the Berlin Wall was constructed; a biopic of the life of Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi; and an untitled project set in Israel.