A second season of Tales From The Neverending Story TV series is among three projects being lined up for backing by the new Munich-based private media fund Equity Pictures.

Launched by producer Andreas Thiesmeyer and financial expert Josef Lautenschlaeger, Equity Pictures is inviting private individuals to each put up a minimum of Euros 25,000 by 30 June 2002 toward a total investment volume of Euros 19.5m. The volume can be extended to Euros 60m depending on demand.

Budgeted at $14m, the Neverending Story series is to be shot from the beginning of next year on high-definition digital and will feature the same actors - Mark Rendall, John Dunn Hill, Victoria Sanchez and Noel Burton - who appeared in the first 13 parts. Hallmark Entertainment, whose Hallmark Channel has been broadcasting the first season in the USA since the beginning of October, has already acquired TV rights for USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The new episodes will be directed by Adam Weissman and Giles Walker and be produced by The Movie Factory Film and Muse Entertainment on behalf of Equity Pictures, with world sales handled by Muse Distribution International

A second project is the feature film The Butterfly Effect by author-director team Jonathan Gruber and Eric Bress (Cats And Dogs, Cheaters) which will be released theatrically in USA by New Line and later brought out on video by Warner Bros. The $11.2m psychological thriller, in the vein of The Sixth Sense, will star Joshua Jackson (The Skulls), Ali Larter (Final Destination) and Elden Henson (She's All That) and be produced by The Movie Factory Film, Dogwood Pictures and Film Engine for Equity.

The third project on Equity's slate is the $16.6m action TV series At End Of Day - comprising a pilot and 11 episodes shot on high definition digital - which has already been licenced to A&E Entertainment for the USA and will be produced by The Movie Factory Film and Montreal-based Muse Entertainment Enterprises on behalf of the fund.