Germany's home-grown genre, the Heimatfilm, which was popular in the 1950s with stirring tales of love and adventure set against the backdrop of Alpine landscapes, is to be dusted down and updated by Helkon Media's majority-owned TV production house, Sonne, Mond und Sterne.

The Munich-based outfit has won a $13.7m (DM30m) contract from broadcasters Bavarian Broadcasting (BR), Austrian public television ORF and KirchMedia to produce an initial eight 90-minute Heimatfilm TV movies over the next five years.

"Whether it be melodrama, romantic comedy or action-packed thriller - everything is possible in the Heimatfilm genre," said Sonne, Mond und Sterne managing director Erwin Kraus.

"Content-wise and technically the German-language productions will be realised with a high level of sophistication and fulfil all the standards for being marketed internationally," Helkon said in a statement.

Sonne, Mond und Sterne was founded by Helkon's Martin Heldmann and the late Werner Koenig with Kraus and partner Michael Strack in 1996. The company was integrated into the Helkon Media Group in 1998 with Helkon holding 75.6% of the shares and Kraus the remaining 24.4%.