Bavaria Film International has picked up international distribution rights to Marie Noelle and Peter Sehr's new feature The Anarchist's Wives which begins its German shoot at the MMC Studios in Cologne today (Friday).

The German-Spanish-French co-production between Noelle and Sehr's P'Artisan Filmproduktion, ZIP Films (Barcelona), KV Entertainment/Ibarretxe & Co. (Bilbao), and Cine Boissiere (Paris) is a love story against all odds based on the real-life experiences of Marie Noelle's grandparents from the struggle against Franco in the Spanish Civil War folllowed by a decade of separation during the Second World War, and new beginnings in post-war France.

The international cast of the Spanish/French language production include Maria Valverde, Juan Diego Botto, Ivana Baquero, Jean-Marc Barr, Laura Morante and the Silver Bear-winning German actress Nina Hoss (Yella).

Speaking to Screen Daily from Cologne, Marie Noelle explained the film project had 'arisen from an initially private research about my grandparents. I am half-Spanish, but the fact that I was born in France is connected with what happened to my grandfather as an anarchist in the Spanish Civil War and Second World War.

'In the course of my research I learnt more about my grandmother's life and found it to be very romantic and cinematographic. The film is a universal love story rather than a war film; it is more about keeping true to one's ideals and shows a woman who fights for her love.'

After shooting for three weeks in the French town of Annonay to recreate France of the 1950s, the production had moved to Madrid and Barcelona and is now at the MMC studios in the Cologne suburb of Ossendorf for two-and-a-half weeks for interiors of a Spanish and two French appartments before wrapping on July 17.

The husband and wife team Peter Sehr and Marie Noelle jointly founded their production company P'Artisan Filmproduktion in 1988. The New York-set Love The Hard Way with Adrian Brody in 2001 was their last feature.