Wolfram Tichy's TiMe Film & Television Produktion is backing start-up Canadian production company Savi Media in a long-term development and production deal.

Essentially a first-look deal in exchange for start-up capital, the arrangement will see Savi, headed by veteran producer Alexandra Raffe, scout for and screen projects for co-development and co-production with Tichy's media fund-backed Vif Filmproduktion as well as produce its own slate.

Raffe told Screendaily that she will act as Tichy's "eyes and ears" in North America. As for its own slate, Savi will devote the rest of this year to development.

Raffe has optioned her first project, Slow Boat To China, a dark comedy by veteran US television writer Kris Young, on a budget pegged at $10m-$12m. Young's script was a prize-winner in the Master of Fine Arts Screenwriting program at UCLA.

Next up for Savi will be the low-budget outing, The Friends Of Dottie Cobb, a still darker comedy, involving a senior citizen hunting down a dyslexic hit man. The budget will be in the $2.5m-$5m range. The company is also in active development on a tween television series, Zixx Phunkee Zii - Galactic Detective, with Debbie Nightingale's The Nightingale Company.

Raffe, former CEO of the Ontario Film Development Corporation, produced some of the most important titles in recent Canadian film, including Patricia Rozema's debut I Heard The Mermaids Singing and David Wellington's I Love A Man In Uniform.