Robert Lovenheim has been appointed head of production to oversee a massive slate being ramped up by diversifying sales agent BV International Pictures (BVIP).

Lovenheim, a US TV executive and European co-producer whose credits include The OJ Simpson Story and The Last Of His Tribe, has previously been consulting for the Norway-based BVIP and now steps up to a full time post. 'I'm seeking a different philosophy of co-production based on low-budgets, low risk-exposure and unique subject matter ripe for the international market,' said Lovenheim.

BVIP is now in production on One Last Ride, a tale of a self-destructive gambler that is directed by Tony Guido and executive produced by Ang Lee.

From next month production begins on Thunderstruck, an Australian road-movie about a bunch of dudes who have to bury their friend next to fallen AC/DC rocker Bon Scott. It is produced by Priscilla Queen Of The Desert- producer Al Clark and directed by Darren Ashton. BVIP boarded provided gap financing and picked up international sales rights.

The biggest budget offering on the slate is the $25m The Adventures Of Santa Claus, which is to be directed by Animal Farm director John Stephenson. Casting director John Hubbard is pulling together a ensemble cast which is expected to include John Goodman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Alan Cumming and softrock superstar Andrea Corr.

BVIP chief, BjorgVeland says that the picture is now 90% financed through a mixture of equity, soft money and pre-sales that include a rare German one - to Telepool. Production is expected to start in July.