F.A.M.E. Film & Music Entertainment - the latest German production outfit destined for the Neuer Markt - has sealed a three-year agreement with Australia's Becker Entertainment to jointly develop and produce a raft of features over the next three years.

The first project under the agreement will be Esben Storm's $7m futuristic thriller Subterano, set to start shooting in Sydney from August 28 with Australian actors Alex Dimitriades (Head On) and Tasma Walton (Fistful Of Flies) in the leads.

F.A.M.E. subsidiary mbm Medienvertrieb has previously served as production partner for Becker Entertainment on the feature The Real Macaw and the TV film Rhapsody In Blue.

F.A.M.E. - a joint venture between film producers Thomas Haeberle of Indigo Filmproduktion and Christian Becker of Becker & Haeberle Filmproduktion, along with music producer Curt Cress and film licence broker Michael Bischoff - plans to go public on the Neuer Markt before the end of September. The new player, which boasts a library of more than 3,300 film and music titles, claims to be "the first German media company which unites film, music production and licence trading under one roof ".

The company intends to become "the biggest listed music publisher in Continental Europe in the field of film and television scores, and one of the leading producers of films in the $1.5m-$5m (DM3m-DM10m) budget range ". It plans to expand its film production output to 8-12 titles a year building on the experience gathered by Haeberle and Becker in their production of such German features as Bang Boom Bang and Kanak Attack as well as international English-language features such as Sebastian Niemann's horror thriller 7 Days To Live and Rajko Grlic's Josephine.

In the run-up to F.A.M.E.'s IPO, the group has poached producer Wolfgang Latteyer from Munich's TNF Tele Norm Film to bolster its production arm. Latteyer, who worked at HBO and Warner Bros as part of his studies at Munich's Academy for Television and Film (HFF), produced the TV movies Die Sexfalle and Force Majeure - Der Flug In Den Tod for TNF and will now supervise projects going through Indigo and Becker & Haeberle Filmproduktion.

Taking F.A.M.E.'s constituent companies together, the group posted turnover of around $7.5m (DM16m) in 1999 and expects to see sales increase to $13.6m (DM29m) this year, with film production providing the bulk at $10m (DM21.4m), followed by international co-production and licence trading $2m (DM4.2m) and music production and sound design $1.6m (DM3.4m).