A film version of Wladimir Kaminer's cult novel Russendisko has been announced as one of the projects in the slate of international co-productions by German producer Christoph Meyer-Wiel's new Berlin-based production outfit CMW Film Company.
The adaptation of Kaminer's collection of short stories will go into production in Berlin next year as a co-production with France's Ocean Films, Scandinavia's Tom Remlov and veteran Italian producer Leo Pescarolo's Imago Film. South African-born Oliver Schmitz, with whom Meyer-Wiel produced Hijack Stories, will direct.
According to Meyer-Wiel, the Euro 3.5m-4m project is "Chaplinesque" and "a kind of Short Cuts in Berlin" which focuses on five of the short stories in the collection.
"We've had a lot of interest from television and distributors because of the book's success and its originality and charm," Meyer-Wiel told Screen Daily.
Before Russendisko, Meyer-Wiel will partner Pescarolo and Hong Kong's Salon Film on Mauro Borelli's fantasy film SHE (The Last Goddess) which starts shooting this winter at locations in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Cambridge.
In addition, CMW will serve as a German production partner on Jonathan English's Euro 5m fantasy adventure Minotaur which is set to shoot almost exclusively at the Babelsberg studios from September as a UK-German co-production with EuroArts/Elektrofilm and Meltemi Entertainment. Lions Gate has already picked up North American distribution rights.
Meanwhile, Meyer-Wiel and Schmitz already have another project in development to follow Russendisko: a new version of Shakespeare's Othello under the title of Between Colours as a contemporary white collar crime thriller set in South Africa. "The twist here is that Othello is white and all the others are black", says Meyer-Wiel.