Germany's MagicWorx has formed a development joint venture with What's The Story, the production outfit of UK casting directors Ros and John Hubbard (Lord Of The Rings) to join forces on developing high-profile feature projects budgeted at between $2m-$20m, with the majority being between $5m-10m.

This move comes after the two companies became production partners - along with US-based Burzee Inc. - on the live-action family entertainment feature The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus, based on the book by Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, which is to be shot at the Babelsberg studios later this year by John Stephenson (Animal Farm).

Meanwhile, MagicWorx and US production company Little G are near to completion on Tony Vitale's urban thriller about horse race gambling One Last Ride which has been executive produced by Ang Lee and stars Patrick Cupo, Robert Davi, Charles Durning and Chazz Palminteri.

Delivery of the film is set for early June, and a show reel will be shown at the market in Cannes by Bjorg Veland's world sales outfit BVIP which is also handling sales on The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus.