Egoli Tossell Film Halle, the joint venture production company established by Berlin-based Egoli Tossell Film and the UK's Zepyhr Films initially to produce Michael Hoffman's $20.5m (Euros 13m) The Last Station, has other projects in the pipeline to be shot in Central Germany and particularly in the Land of Saxony-Anhalt.
Speaking to ScreenDaily.com, producers Jens Meurer (Germany) and Chris Curling (UK) explained that their new joint company would be the German co-producer for the UK's Ecosse Films on Geoffrey Sax's Black Death.
'That would be a 100% Saxony-Anhalt shoot with some studio work in Leipzig,' Curling said. 'We already have all of the locations and plan to shoot the film later this year.'
In addition, Agnieszka Holland's Peter & Catherine from a screenplay by Irakli Kvirikadze about the love story between Peter the Great and a Polish battlefield whore who became Tsarina Catherine I, is also being prepared under the Halle-based umbrella.
Further down the line, Egoli Tossell Film Halle would also be looking to serve as the German partner for a planned biopic by the UK's actor/writer/director Stephen Fry of the German-born composer Georg Friedrich Haendel (known in the UK as Handel) who was born in Halle in 1685.
Fry would be directing his second feature - after 2003's Bright Young Things - with the current working title of Hallelujah! from a screenplay by Nicholas Adams, with Gina Carter producing.
Meurer pointed out that, by then, the joint venture would 'probably be operating under another name because we will be moving from one film to a slate of films.'
Meanwhile, the producers revealed that Scottish-born actor and comedian John Sessions (The Merchant of Venice) has joined the cast of The Last Station, which begins shooting for eight weeks today, and that the Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky has boarded the project as an investor through his Production Center in return for the Russian rights.
'He very much believes in having this ultimately Russian story told as an international film so that audiences the world over can see it,' Meurer said.
Moreover, production services for the shoot in Russia later in the summer will be handled by Andrey Deryabin of the St. Petersburg-based Hermitage Bridge Studio which was Meurer's co-production partner on Alexander Sokurov's Russian Ark.
In addition, Meurer revealed that the Munich-based production company SamFilm is likely to become a local co-producer on The Last Station. Last week, SamFilm was named as the top German production company of 2007 at the German Federal Film Board's 'Industry Tigers' event for its continuing success with its Wild Soccer Bunch franchise and was awarded $2.29m (Euros 1.45m) in retroactive 'reference funding' to invest into new film projects.
Finally, Curling added that the pickup by Warner Bros. Germany had been 'critical for the film's financing. Having that presale [for Germany, Austria and Switzerland] has enabled us to bring in other presales, and deals are currently being signed by [sales agent] The Little Film Company with several other territories.'