New projects by Rolf Schuebel, Fatih Akin, Ulla Wagner, and Tony Loeser are among six feature films awarded more than $3.64m (Euros 3m) by North Rhine-Westphalia's regional film fund Filmstiftung NRW at its latest funding session.

The largest amount -- $969,719 (Euros 800,000) -- went to Rolf Schuebel's English-language drama Eleanor & Colette, scripted by Mark Bruce Rosin, which will star Susan Sarandon and Helena Bonham Carter opposite German actor Sebastian Koch.

The film will be produced by Hamburg-based Multimedia Film-und Fernsehproduktion with Cologne's MMC Independent. Production will start this summer, to be partly shot at MMC's studios in the Cologne suburb Ossendorf.

Schuebel previously worked in English on Blueprint, starring Franka Potente, which was partly shot in Canada.

Another award of $969,719 (Euros 800,000) has gone to Ulla Wagner for her adaptation of Uwe Timm's novel The Discovery Of The Currywurst (Die Entdeckung Der Currywurst) which will be produced by Berlin-based Kanguruh Films.

The film already has Prokino and Bavaria Film International onboard as German theatrical distributor and sales agent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Head-On director Fatih Akin adds $400,000 (Euros 330,000) production funding to the $484,790 (Euros 400,000) he was awarded last week from the German Federal Film Board for his new feature Auf Der Anderen Seite Des Lebens.

Akin's film will be co-produced with Turkey-based Pan Film and has Pandora Filmverleih attached as theatrical distributor.

The cast features former Fassbinder muse Hanna Schygulla, Hilmi Soezer, and Patrycja Ziolkowska, who also appeared in Akin's immigrant drama Solino.

In addition, Tony Loeser of the Halle-based MotionWorks animation studio has received $448,421 (Euros 370,000) backing for his new children's animation feature A Case For Friends...How It All Began, to be co-produced with Italy's Enanimation and France's 2D3D Animation. Public broadcaster WDR is also onboard as production partner for the project, which is set to be released theatrically in Germany by Warner Bros.