UK actress Janet McTeer, who recently appeared opposite Glenn Close in Rodrigo Garcia’s Albert Nobbs, will play the novelist Mary McCarthy in German director Margarethe von Trotta’s latest feature Hannah Arendt (working title) which begins shooting on location in North Rhine-Westphalia this weekend.

The Match Factory will handle international sales.

Von Trotta and Pamela Katz’s screenplay concentrates on the German-Jewish philosopher’s life of exile in New York and the controversy surrounding her coining of the phrase “banality of evil” to describe Adolf Eichmann’s actions as a member of the Nazi regime.

Katz had previously co-written Rosenstrasse and The Other Woman with von Trotta.

The film, which will be shot at locations in NRW, Israel, New York and Luxembourg until the end of December, marks von Trotta’s seventh collaboration with German actress Barbara Sukowa who has been cast in the title role after playing other female historical figures for the veteran director such as Rosa Luxemburg and Hildegard von Bingen.

Arendt’s husband Heinrich Blücher will be played by Axel Milberg, her secretary and confidante Lotte Köhler by Julia Jentsch and the circle of friends from her student days -  the so-called ‘tribe’ - by Ulrich Noethen, Michael Degen and Victoria Trautmannsdorf, while an early flame, the philosopher Martin Heidegger, is to be portrayed by Klaus Pohl.

Hannah Arendt is being produced by the Cologne-based production house Heimatfilm – the winner of Berlin’s Golden Bear  last year for Semih Kaplanoglu’s Bal (Honey) - as a co-production with France’s Mact Productions, Luxembourg’s Minotaurus Film and Israel’s Metro Communications Ltd

Backing for the film, which will be released theatrically in Germany by NFP marketing & distribution* at the end of 2012, has come from Film- und  Medienstiftung NRW, German Federal Film Board (FFA), FFF Bayern, German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), CNC, Film Fund Luxembourg – Fonspa and Film Fund Luxembourg – CIAV, along with Degeto Film and broadcasters Bayerischer Rundfunk and Westdeutscher Rundfunk.

Meanwhile, principal photography began yesterday (Wed) in North Rhine-Westphalia on German director Franziska Buch’s new feature Upgrade whose international cast includes French actors Sandrine Bonnaire and Gerard Jugnot, Denmark’s Thure Lindhardt and Luxembourg’s André Jung.

The screenplay by Martin Rauhaus centres on two commuters travelling between Düsseldorf and Paris, an investment banker and a bestselling novelist (played by Hans Werner Meyer and Jessica Schwarz), who are brought together  by chance at a turning point in both of their lives.

The co-production between Wüste Film West and Wüste Film with broadcasters Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Bayerischer Rundfunk, Luxembourg’s Iris Productions and Paris-based Drimages, in association with ARTE,  has received funding from Film- und  Medienstiftung NRW, FilmFörderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), among others, and will be shooting in North Rhine-Westphalia, Luxembourg and Paris.

Upgrade will be released in German cinemas by farbfilm verleih during 2012 and handled internationally by The Match Factory.