Franziska Buch will direct the German-Austrian-Swedish co-production about an 11 year old girl and her friendship with a yeti.

Munich-based production house blue eyes Fiction has won Sony Pictures as the theatrical distributor in Germany for its planned new children’s film franchise Yoko.

Budgeted at between € 8.5m-9m, the co-production by blue eyes with Austria’s DOR Film and Sweden’s Fido Film will shoot for 40-56 days from this August at locations in Munich and surroundings and the Alps. Sony Pictures intends to release the film in spring 2012.

The story of the friendship between the 11-year-old girl Pia and the little yeti Yoko who is on the run from the sinister big-game hunter Thor van Sneider, is based on children’s books by the bestselling author Knister.

blue eyes Fiction previously worked with Knister on the screen adaptation of his stories about the adventures  of Lilly The Witch (Hexe Lilli). The first Lilly The Witch was released by Walt Disney in Germany in February 2009 and was seen by over 1.2m cinema-goers last year. A sequel is currently in postproduction and will open in German cinemas via Walt Disney in spring 2011.

Yoko will be directed by Franziska Buch whose past credits include Bibi Blocksberg And The Secret Of The Blue Owls and Huer kommt Lola! Moreover, as in the case of the Lilly The Witch films, this new production will again be a mix of live-action and CGI animation, with Fido Film being responsible this time for the animation of the figure of Yoko. (ends)