For the first time since its relaunch at the beginning of this year, Kinowelt has announced that it will be making its first foray into production by co-producing an adaptation of Wladimir Kaminer's bestselling cult novel Russendisko next year (ScreenDaily.com, April 2003).
The film, which will be produced by Christoph Meyer-Wiel of CMW Films with fellow Berlin producer Joachim von Vietinghoff of Von Vietinghoff Filmproduktion, Rainer Koelmel of Kinowelt Filmproduktion and French distributor-producer Ocean Films, will be directed by South African-born Oliver Schmitz (Hijack Stories) from a screenplay by Thomas Wendrich.
Development funding for the project has come from the German Federal Film Board (FFA) and the European Union's MEDIA Plus Programme, and principal photography is scheduled at locations in Berlin and Babelsberg next summer. Kinowelt plans to release the film in Germany in early 2005.
Described by Meyer-Wiel as "a kind of Short Cuts in Berlin", Russendisko focuses on the lives of immigrants in Berlin's explosive, multicultural atmosphere in the 1990s, showing the city from a fresh new perspective and following the Russian community, East Germans and other foreigners searching for their own new identity in a unified Germany.