Former Babelsberg studio boss Volker Schloendorff has spokenout in favour of the bid by the current management under Thierry Potok for thehistorical production centre as talks continue with Vivendi Universal on thestudio's future.

In an interview with the German daily newspaper Die Welt,Schloendorff expressed doubts about the feature film ambitions of anotherpotential bidder Studio Hamburg: "I fear that they don't have thenecessary relationships there to attract international cinema. Even Bavaria, a moredynamic company than Studio Hamburg, has the greatest of difficulties."

He pointed out the present studio management under Potok"has proven that it can exist and it will become easier [rather thanharder] in the future. I had to shoot my new film Der Neunte Tag in Prague, for the well-known reasons of cost. Thedifference in price to the eastern studios is still there. It is constantlygetting smaller, and it will decrease further with the entries into the EU andthe Eurozone. In this way, Babelsberg will become even more attractive formajor cinema productions."

Asked about his opinion of Studio Hamburg, Schloendorffadmitted that he had himself brought the rival studio onto the Babelsberg lotas a partner in new film and TV studios which handle the daily soap Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten, amongother things. "In retrospect, I have to say that the way this partnershipproceeded has been disappointing. We had hoped that the Hamburgers would helpattract TV productions to Babelsberg, but nothing happened there. For that,they obtained a complete insight into our books and, with this knowledge, tookover our rival studio in Berlin-Adlershof."