TwentiethCentury Fox of Germany has signed a multi-picture deal with Munich-basedproduction house Claussen & Woebke Filmproduktion covering all film rightsfor five feature films in the next three years as well as further projects thatare yet to be developed.

Thefirst joint project will an adaptation of Otfried Preussler's award-winningchildren's story Krabat, which willbe directed by Summer Storm's Marco Kreuzpaintner and co-produced with SevenPictures Film and a private investor.

Otherprojects selected so far under the deal are the student comedy 13 Semester to be directed by FriederWittich, Stellungswechsel by the screenwriter-directorMaggie Peren, and the big-screen adaptation of Jan Weiler's Maria, Ihm Schmeckt's Nicht.

Commentingon the deal, Vincent De La Tour, managing director of Twentieth Century Fox Germany,and Gabriela Bacher, the executive responsible for German-languageco-productions at Twentieth Century Fox International, said that "Claussen & Woebke are one of the most renownedindependent German producers. With award-winning and profitable films like theOscar-nominated Jenseits der Stille(Beyond Silence) as well as Anatomie,23, Crazy and Lichter, Claussen& Woebke have gained wide recognition. Furthermore, we believe we have founda trio of full-service producers who harmonize perfectly with us."

ChristianGrass, executive VP of Fox International for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, added that the US major has been looking for producers with a solid track record bothcreatively and in terms of box office results. Claussen & Woebke have agift for finding and fostering new talent and for developing and producingexcellent material; with their talent and experience, we know this will be afruitful venture."

Meanwhile,Tony Safford, senior VP of Fox Film Acquisitions, who had negotiated the multi-picturedeal with Claussen & Woebke's co-managing director Uli Puetz, pointed outthat the agreement with the German production house "reflects our continuing efforts to build long-term localrelationships throughout the world. We see great potential in the localmarkets, as exemplified most recently by our Sogepaq deal in Spain, and are looking forward to a successful partnershipwith Claussen & Woebke."

Separateof the multi-picture deal, Twentieth Century Fox Germany also announced that itwill handle the German theatrical release of Marco Kreuzpaintner's firstEnglish-language film Welcome To America,which Claussen & Woebke co-produced with Roland Emmerich and RosilynHeller.

TheFox's German arm started showing a greater direct interest in German-languageproduction when it announced that it had picked up Wolfgang Murnberger's familyfilm Lapislazuli for German andAustrian theatrical release. The DOR Film production had itsworld premiere in the Berlinale's Kinderfilmfest in February and will bereleased by Fox at the end of the summer.