Berlin-based Target Media Entertainment, who entered into a long-term, multi-picture deal with Warner Bros. Pictures Germany at the end of October (Screendaily, Oct 26 2001), has now launched a Euro 50m media fund to finance up to 15 live.action and animated German and English-language features.

The production companies Comet Film (The Little Vampire), Cartoon Film (The Little Polar Bear) and the international sales outfit Cometstone International are the fund's production and distribution partners and its shareholders. Target's operations are being managed by Gerhard von Halem, former managing director of Senator Entertainment's production arm Senator Film Produktion, and Dr. Karin Stammer, previously one of the general managers of the ApolloMedia media fund.

Investors are being invited to each put up a minimum investment sum of Euros 25,000 toward a total volume of Euros 50m by the end of 2002. A bank guarantee will ensure that 10% of the volume invested in films in one year will flow back as a guaranteed return the following year, and all surpluses above the 10% will be reinvested into new projects between 2003 and 2008.

Among the projects being lined up for backing by Target Media are a 13 x 26-minute TV series based on The Little Polar Bear as well as a feature sequel to the current successful release of the same name; Piet Roon's Euros 20m 3-D computer animated WannaBee, to be produced by Cartoon Film with Comet Film and Stonewood Communications; and The Little Polar Bear directing team Thilo Graf Rothkirch and Piet de Rycker's Euros 10m Lauras Stern, based on the children's bestseller by Klaus Baumgart, to be produced by Cartoon Film with Warner Bros. and Comet Film.

In addition, Comet Film is developing a new TV series and feature film based on its internationally successful family film The Little Vampire as well as a Euros 14m feature film version of the life of the first man in space Yuri Gagarin, Gagarin, to be directed by Anthony Waller at original locations in Russia, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

Under the terms of its agreement with Target, Warner Bros. has the option to market and distribute up to 15 Target-financed features for theatrical release, video distribution and sub-licensing of television and Internet rights in German-speaking Europe, and also has an option to co-finance and co-produce films on a project-by-project basis. After recoupment of distribution expenses, Warner Bros. will pay out to Target quarterly 85% of the theatrical revenue received from exhibitors together with Target's share of the video and TV revenue.