Germany's Studio Babelsberg has expanded its in-house production division in a bid to attract more big-budget international productions to the legendary production facility.

The studio's CEO Rainer Schaper announced during the Berlin Film Festival that production manager Udo Happel, who has most recently supervised Jean-Jacques Annaud's Berlin opener Enemy At The Gates and Istvan Szabo's Taking Sides, has been appointed to look after European productions shooting at Babelsberg. Meanwhile, Henning Molfenter, who worked for ten years in the US on features such as Man On The Moon and The People Vs Larry Flynt, will serve as a line producer on visiting US productions.

In addition, Dirk Wilutzky will be responsible on a project-by-project basis for international TV productions as a complement to the national production strand managed by Babelsberg TV's Michael Buetow.

"I am very pleased to have a first-class team that can both do justice to international standards as well as have a heart for European and German cinema," Rainer Schaper said.

Roman Polanski's $24m (DM50m) The Pianist starts shooting at the Babelsberg studios, and on locations in Brandenburg and Warsaw, from February 19, with Adrien Brody (Bread And Roses) and Thomas Kretschmann (U571) in the leads.