The future of Studio Babelsberg is secure after Vivendi Universal's announcement on Wednesday (Sept 25) to focus its activities in future as a conglomerate for the film, TV and entertainment industry.

Commenting on the decisions taken at Vivendi Universal's administrative council sitting in Paris, Vivendi Deutschland chief Thierry Potok declared that 'now we again have planning security for the studio, its employees and our clients. We will continue the course of consolidation'.

Potok explained that he and the studio's management team would be concentrating in the coming months on three priority areas: making better use of the synergies within Vivendi Universal (a start had been made last week with the contract to handle the German dub of The Guru); restructuring of Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures and attention being directed again to attracting local German productions to the studios alongside international film and TV projects; expansion and optimisation of the studio services division under the management of Gerhard Bergfried.

Potok added that he was still exploring film financing models which could be linked with studio shoot obligations. A start had been made with the Land of Brandenburg's state guarantee 'to provide producers with financial arguments for Studio Babelsberg, but that is not yet enough for me', Potok noted. 'We have a film fund model in the drawer which we don't want to place at the moment because of the global media and stock exchange crisis. I will therefore explore other possibilities with the regional government of how together we can get productions back to the region'.

Meanwhile, apart from the previously announced project The Women Of Rosenstrasse by Margarethe von Trotta coming to the studio this autumn, it is understood that Babelsberg will host Romuald Karmakar's new feature Die Nacht Singt Ihre Lieder, based on the highly successful play Natta Syng Sine Songar by the Norwegian novelist- dramatist Jon Fosse, and Leander Haussmann's second feature Herr Lehmann.

There is also a possibility that sound stages could be occupied by teamWorx's TV 'event' about the East Berlin workers' uprising in 1953, Der 17. Juli, and a French 13-part TV series Young Blades.