EXCLUSIVE: Splendid Medien, the Cologne-based co-financier of such US mainstream films as Traffic and Gangs Of New York, is set to make its first foray into local German production this autumn.

Andreas Klein and Sandoro Lorino of the production subsidiary Splendid Produktion will produce Wolfgang Groos’ Wenn Inge tanzt with Ingo Schuenemann of Berlin-based Polarlicht Filmproduktion.

Described as “a young, fresh music comedy with many surprises,” Wenn Inge tanzt  was written by Thomas Winkler, David Ungureit and Rainer Ewerrien, and will be shot entirely in North Rhine-Westphalia with a cast to include Paula Kadenberg, Tim Oliver Schultz and Jürgen Tarrach.

The project received production support of €500,000 from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and will be released by Splendid Film’s theatrical distribution arm, most probably during 2013.

Groos’ [pictured] previous feature films include his debut Hangtime (2008/9), The Crocodiles 3 (2010) and The Vampire Sisters (2011/2).

The move into local production comes as the Splendid Group is undertaking a programme of expansion which will also see the number of theatrical releases continuously increasing.

In 2012, Splendid will handle such releases as The Expendables 2 and the romantic comedy Playing The Field, while the 2013 lineup will include the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starrer The Last Stand, I Frankenstein, the family animation film Ribbit, and Joe Hahn’s thriller Mall, starring Vincent d’Onofrio and Peter Stormare, among others.

According to Splendid Medien’s annual report for 2011, the company is planning investment in new titles totalling €38m for 2012 and 2013 and is negotiating financing with a consortium of banks headed by Essen-based National-Bank AG.

Splendid’s foray into production follows similar moves by two other German distributors: Munich-based Alamode Film was a co-producer on Alain Resnais’ Cannes competition title You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, and has become a partner on Peter Bardehle’s new documentary Seen From Above – The Alps (Die Alpen von oben) and Frauke Finsterwalder’s fiction feature debut Finsterworld, while Berlin-based distributor Neue Visionen’s first co-production, the comedy Fly Away by Bernd Böhlich, has been seen by almost 90,000 cinema-goers in its first two weeks since its release on July 12.