Greenlight Media and the Dresdner Bank's investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein are to launch a second BAF Berlin Animation Film fund to raise in the region of $100m for the production of up to five international animation features.
According to Greenlight's chief operating officer Nikolaus Weil, BAF II, which concentrates on animation for the cinema unlike the BAF I, will back two large-scale animation features, each with budgets of $30m, to be produced with established (but as yet unnamed) US animation studios, as well as three European-based productions each budgeted at around $10m .
Greenlight's President Andre Sikojev added that "the US partners with whom we are preparing the US projects were already in Berlin and introduced to [German animation studio] Hahn Film [Greenlight's production partner on Simsalagrimm], and it is likely that they will also establish a small production unit here".
In fact, the combination of Greenlight's moving its operations from Munich to Berlin and the launching of the BAF fund has resulted in the establishment of a number of animation studios - Hamburg's Animationsstudio Ludewig, France's Marathon and Futurikon, and Luxembourg's Oniria Production.
The first BAF fund, which was launched in two tranches in autumn and winter 1999 by London-based Dresdner Kleinwort Benson ploughed some $68.8m (DM 150m) into a mix of cinema and TV projects ranging from the $30m Simsalagrimm - The Movie through to such animated series as Meadowlands, The @dventurers, Bob's Beach and Acariens .
Meanwhile, Sikojev pointed out that, outside of the BAF funds, Greenlight plans in the future to produce one animation feature a year as a German-European co-production. Moreover, preparations are currently underway for production of the next 26 episodes of the Simsalagrimm TV series which has since developed into the most successful German TV export of all time with sales to over 120 territories.