The publicly listed German film and TV group Odeon Film is expanding its feature film activities by setting up the Hanover-based Waterfall Productions (WFP) with producers Peter Rommel and Thomas Haberle to specialise in the production of quality genre feature films with budgets between $3.4m-$4.7m (Euros 2.5m-3.5m) for the international market.

Originally operating under the working title of Get Lost Films, WFP is 50.1% owned by Odeon Film, with Rommel and Haberle each holding 24.95%; Odeon's board members David Groenewold and Stephan O. Hansch are managing directors of the new company together with Rommel and Haberle, who are also co-founders of the production outfit Shotgun Pictures which co-produced such films as Anders Morgenthaler's Princess and Karim Anouz's Suely In The Sky (O Ceu De Suely) .

'We will not make the mistake of many producers in copying Hollywood in Europe,' Haberle and Rommel stressed. 'We will concentrate with WFP exclusively on low-budget films with a clearly defined genre orientation in order to be competitive internationally.'

Apart from the usual pre-sales, the financing of WFP's projects will be secured by a state guarantee granted by the state of Lower Saxony and a revolving credit line of a maximum of $6.7m (Euros 5m) provided by the Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG.

Current plans envisage WFP producing up to eight film projects in the first three years.

The founding of Waterfall Productions comes just two months after Odeon Film acquired a majority stake in the Munich-based outfit Hofmann & Voges Entertainment which is preparing Christoph Schrewe's comedy Ausbilder Schmidt - Der Film and Oscar-winner Florian Gallenberger's Second World War China-based drama John Rabe.