Columbia TriStar's German production arm, Deutsche Columbia Pictures Filmproduktion (DCPF), is setting up a German outpost of the French scriptwriting workshop Equinoxe which has supported 150 screenplays since its inception in 1993.

Equinoxe Germany is being established by DCPF executive Ellen Winn Wendl, producer Huelya Sancar and lawyer Martin Heller. Sancar will serve as its manager.

"The aim of Equinoxe Germany is to bring independent German authors, directors and producers together with internationally respected experts in order to support them in the development of their feature projects," Sancar said.

The German branch is being set up with financial support from the European Union's Media Programme. DCPF will be responsible, among other things, for selecting German candidates for the Equinoxe workshops to be held in March and October at the Chateau Beychevelle near Bordeaux. The aim is to submit two German projects to each workshop.

Among the films that Equinoxe has supported in the past are this year's Berlin competition entry Little Senegal, directed by Rachid Bouchareb, and DCPF co-production Was Tun, Wenn's Brennt', from Anne Wild and Stefan Daehnert.