Following StudioCanal's takeover of Germany's Kinowelt Group earlier this year, Rainer Koelmel has now renamed his Munich-based production company Kinowelt Filmproduktion as Starhaus Filmproduktion as part of an expanded production slate.

Kinowelt Filmproduktion had not been part of the StudioCanal deal and remains in the hands of Koelmel who will have a 'first look' arrangement with Kinowelt in Leipzig.

Starhaus has a number of projects in development as co-productions, including the long-anticipated Marlene Haushofer adaptation Die Wand by Julian Poelsler with Vienna-based coop99 filmproduktion; Zimmer by Michael Dreher with Ruediger Heinze Filmproduktion; and Die Schwarzen Brueder with enigma film.

In addition, the company is developing the in-house productions Feuertanz by Peter Probst and Mauer des Schweigens by Winfried Bonengel.

The success of the Dominik Wessely documentary Reverse Angle - Of The Filmmakers, which had its world premiere in the Berlinale Special sidebar last February, has prompted Starhaus to pursue further documentary projects with the development with broadcaster ARTE of Mama Africa about Miriam Makeba and Andreas Goldstein's documentary about the chess world champion Bobby Fischer with Berlin-based Next Film.

A number of other projects are in development including international co-productions in partnership with the StudioCanal Group as well as a close cooperation with Suedart Filmproduktion of the newcomer producers Thomas Klimmer and Boris Jendreyko.

Commenting on the expansion of his production activities, Koelmel, who will also remain in his current functions for the Kinowelt Group, said that Starhaus Filmproduktion is 'continuity and a new beginning for me. As before, we are devoting ourselves to the arthouse cinema that also has commercial potential.'