Germany's Constantin Film has added to its portfolio of 'satellite' production houses by taking a 51% majority stake in Christian Becker and Anita Schneider's new outfit Rat Pack Filmproduktion
The new film and TV production company, in which director Sebastian Niemann and writers Juergen Egger and Alexander Ruemelin hold minority interests, was launched after Becker left the media company F.A.M.E. last year.
Other directors who will take equity holdings in the company are Dennis Gansel and Peter Thorwarth.
Rat Pack's first project - the Euros 4.5m two-part TV thriller Jesus Video - is currently in production in Morocco under Niemann's direction. Co-produced by the private German media fund GFP German Film Productions, Jesus Video is scheduled to air on commercial broadcaster ProSieben this autumn and is being sold internationally by BetaFilm.
Becker told Screendaily that Rat Pack's future projects include the TV movie comedy Cuba Libre, to shoot at locations in Cuba and Rostock from next month; the Italian-set romantic comedy feature Killing Is My Business Honey by Sebastian Niemann; and a sequel to Gorky Park which is being developed with Engram Pictures for Rainer Matsutani to direct.
In addition, Rat Pack's slate also includes: the comedy feature Der Wixxer writen by comedian Oliver Kalkofe; the TV movies Ich Bin Ein Berliner and Der Getuerkte Deutsche; and a TV series based on the feature film Was Nicht Passt Wird Passend Gemacht.
Whilst at F.A.M.E. Becker produced such films as Niemann's English language thriller 7 Days To Live, Peter Thorwarth's Was Nicht Passt, Wird Passend Gemacht and Peter Thorwarth's Bang Boom Bang.
"The new company sees itself as an independent film and television production operation that has established firm ties between itself and various authors and directors in the form of small equity holdings and therefore has unique creative potential at its disposal", Becker told Screendaily.
Constantin also has majority stakes in Olga Film, Moovie - The Art of Entertainment and Engram Pictures as well as a first look deal with Hofmann & Voges Entertainment.