Cologne-based MMC Independent has become a co-producer with Andras Hamori's H20 Motion Pictures on Stephen Frears' latest feature project Cheri which is currently shooting in France and will be moving to Germany at the end of May.

A co-production contract will be officially signed by Hamori and Magic Media Company's (MMC) new CEO Ralf Schmitz in the presence of the North Rhine-Westphalian regional government Minister for Federal and European Affairs Andreas Krautscheid at the State Chancellery in Duesseldorf next Tuesday(May 13).

The adaptation by Christopher Hampton of the Colette novel set in Paris of the 1920s sees Frears reunited with Michelle Pfeiffer - who starred in his 1988 costume drama Dangerous Liaisons - and also features Rupert Friend and Kathy Bates in the cast.

Interiors from locations in Paris and Normandy are being constructed at the MMC Coloneum studios in the Cologne suburb of Ossendorf where the studio work for Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 film Amelie From Montmartre was located.

Cheri is being handled internationally (except for North America) by Pathe. The Frears project is the latest in a number of international projects which have been coming to shoot in North Rhine-Westphalia this year.

2008 began with Theo Angelopoulos' $ 12.7m (Euros 8.3m) Dust Of Time, starring Michel Piccoli, Willem Dafoe, and Irene Jacob, and Marleen Gorris' $ 9.5m (Euros 6.2m) Within The Whirlwind, with Emily Watson and Ulrich Tukur.

Last month, MMC was a service provider at its production complex in Huerth for two weeks of studio work on Stephen Daldry's The Reader, with Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, and David Kross. The production had also shot at some locations in Cologne city centre.

Moreover, MMC's Huerth facility will be host from the end of May for interiors to Ben Verbong's family drama Laura, starring Senta Berger, Christiane Paul, Mark Waschke and Jan Decleir.

The $ 5.1m (Euros 3.3m) co-production between Elsani Film, 3L Filmproduktion, CTM Films/Borderline Pictures and MMC Independent began shooting in Schleswig-Holstein at the beginning of this week.