Ahead of this year's MIFED film market, Germany's Beta Cinema has picked up the international rights to three films from Berlin production powerhouse X-Filme creative pool.
The films are: Hendrik Handloegten's Learning To Lie (Liegen Lernen), Achim von Borries' Love In Thoughts (Was Nuetzt Die Liebe In Gedanken) and Mennan Yapo's Soundless (Lautlos).
These titles join other local productions on Beta Cinema's sales lineup such as Leander Haussmann's Berlin Blues (Herr Lehmann), Igor Zaritzki's psychological thriller Devot, and Carsten Fiebeler's comedy Kleinruppin Forever.
Speaking to ScreenDaily.com, Beta Cinema's Andreas Rothbauer explained that the deal with X-Filme creative pool "is a signal to German producers that it will continue to be an important element of our activities to handle German films which have commercial success at home as well as festival and commercial potential internationally".
"We want people to see that we are interested in developing long-term working relationships with German production companies as well as building a second, international track with films like [the English-language] Ghetto", Rothbauer added.
Until now, X-Filme has enjoyed a working relationship with another German sales agent Bavaria Film International. The relationship began in 1998 with the handling of Wolfgang Becker's Berlinale competition film Life Is All You Get (Das Leben Ist Eine Baustelle) and was expanded on the eve of last year's Berlinale (ScreenDaily.com, Feb 2, 2002).
At the time, Bavaria Film International's Michael Weber said that his goal "is to intensify the co-operation with X-Filme on an informal basis, which could go over and above the world sales business to include greater co-operation with the distribution arm X Verleih."
Beta Cinema's pickups do not, however, mean that this working co-operation between Bavaria Film International and X-Filme has come to an end, according to head of sales Thorsten Schaumann. He stressed to ScreenDaily.com that the "relationship [with X-Filme] continues as before" and that Bavaria Film International selects its films for international distribution on "a project by project basis."
Meanwhile, Beta Film's head of press and PR Kathrin Steinbrenner confirmed that neither Beta Film nor Beta Cinema have been affected by the news of 160 redundancies being made by KirchMedia this week. The international distribution outfit currently has around 25 staff on its books.