Pandora Filmproduktion's Karl Baumgartner has launched a new production outpost, Pallas Film, in the east German town of Halle to focus on projects with filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe.

One of Pallas Film's first projects will be a feature film entitled Happiness by Czech director Bohdan Slama whose quirky Wild Bees was entered by the Czech Republic for the Foreign Language Oscar.

"Some of the most interesting filmmakers around at the moment are coming from the Czech Republic", Baumgartner told Screen Daily.

The new outfit, which has already received Euros 100,000 slate development funding from Leipzig-based Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung (MDM), is the latest film company to set up shop in Halle after Mika Kaurismaki launched Stamina Media there to handle his latest feature Honey Baby, starring Henry Thomas and Irina Bjoerklund.

In addition, Tony Loeser's animation studio MotionWorks whose credits include Globi, The Stolen Shadow and Der Kleine Eisbaer, also operates out of Halle.