Production outfit Schmidtz KatzeFilmkollektiv and the Berlin-based developmentcompany mediacontentfactory (mcf)have joined forces to initiate a $47.7m (Euros 40m) slate of English-languagegenre films for the international market.

According to thejoint venture's partners, the slate of six to seven thriller,fantasy or adventure feature films will either be based on successful novels,games and/or creative talents with an excellent reputation in the respectivegenre, and each have an internationally known cast attached.

mcf's managing director Peter Kuhn told Screendaily that 50% ofthe slate's funding would be raised from private equity investors with the helpof Movie Equity Holland. The other half of the financing is expected to comefrom a variety of sources including world sales deals, service producer defermentsand regional public subsidies. The first of the slate's films is expected to gointo production in late summer/early autumn 2006.

"We arevery satisfied about the feedback we received from the market," declared Schmidtz Katze CEO Patrick Knippel. "Our specific funding structure and the sharewe will take of the P&A costs have generated investors' interest beyond ourexpectations. It gives us great confidence in the success of the slate."

Created through the merger of Halle-based Schmidtz Katze GmbH and Berlin's Filmkollektiv,the team of Patrick Knippel, Leander Carell and Steffen Reuter have set themselves an ambitiousgoal - of becoming one of the 10 most creative production companies in Germany.

Last year Schmidtz Katze was involved n Jeno Hodi's vampire movie Metamorphosis, starring ChristopherLambert, which was co-produced with Hungarian and UK partners, and KatrinLaur's family entertainment film Ruudi, structured as an Estonian-Finnish-German co-production.