Mike Downey and Sam Taylor's UK production company Film And Music Entertainment (F&ME) pushes its busy slate forward with the start of principal photography on three new features: Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre, Donkey and Beneath The Surface.
All three are co-productions, shooting - respectively - in Iceland, Croatia/Herzegovina and China/Sudan. All three will do post in London.
Julius Kemp's $2.8m (Euros 2m) horror/thriller Reykjavik Whate Watching Massacreis a co-production with Kemp and Ingvar Thordarson's Icelandic Film Company and with Finland's Solar Films. World sales rights are still open.
Oscar-nominated writer Sjon Sigurdson's story follows whale watchers who meet crazed whale fishermen, or 'fishbillies.' It is shooting now off the Icelandic coast.
'RWWM is a splatter movie of the goriest kind.' says Mike Downey ' The story is true to its genre, and the humour as black as it gets.'
Shooting now in Croatia and Herzegovina is Antonio Nuic's Donkey, the follow-up to his All For Free. That film is produced by Boris T Matic's Propeler Film and F&ME in association with Jozo Patljak's Alka Film. The story follows a dysfunctional family who find truth and tragedy when they return to the family village.
'It's great to be working with Boris T Matic and the Propeler Film team again,'says Downey, who also worked with them on Sarajevo-winning Buick Riviera. 'Antonio Nuic is one of the most inspiring film makers in the Balkans at the moment and we look forward to making his first English language film.'
The third project shooting is Sudanese oil crisis feature documentary Beneath The Surface. That film, shooting in Beijing now, is a collaboration between Cologne-based Buesse and Halberschmidt, F&ME, and the ZDF. UK broadcasters are currently in talks to come on board.
Also, F&ME has three other UK co-productions set to shoot in early 2009: they are Dimitar Mitovski's Mission London, from a screenplay by Alek Popov and Steve Attridge. Produced by SIA and Camera in co-production with F&ME and UJ Film Studio in Hungary, Mission London is an adaptation of Popov's novel - a satire presenting Bulgarian situations depicted with refined English humour.
Set to shoot in Wales in the spring is Joona Tena's $2.8m (Euros 2m) The Debt, a supernatural, Celtic folk-influenced thriller from the Finnish director of FC Venus. A UK writer is coming on board now to revamp the script. Producers areMRP's Mikko Tenhunen with F&ME.
Finally, F&ME's first foray into 3D filming, Underwater Iceland 3D will be produced by Marko Rohr. That $3.2m (Euros 2.2m) film will be a two-year shoot in and around the coastal waters of Iceland.
Rohr noted: 'Using the spectacular underwater landscape around Iceland this 3D epic documentary attempts in its own philosophical way to look for the origins of life where tectonic plate shifts, and temperature changes could have created the first living cells to exist on earth.'
Two other films, Dominic Murphy's White Lightnin' and Nick Stringer's The Turtle's Song, are ready for delivery in the next few weeks.