Studio Hamburg's feature production arm, Studio Hamburg Letterbox Filmproduktion, has signed a three-picture co-production and distribution deal with Tele-Muenchen Group and its distribution arm, Concorde Film.

Heading the trio of titles is Widerstand Der Herzen, the next project from internationally-renowned German director Margarethe von Trotta, which marks her first feature since The Promise opened the Berlin International Film Festival in 1996. Another production will be an adaptation of Hilke Rosenbohm's novel Adam Und Ewig, a love story slated to shoot at the end of 2001.

Letterbox is also gearing up for a push into internationally-oriented English-language feature production under Wolfgang Esenwein, who was appointed as a third managing director at the operation from January 1. Esenwein, previously a deputy managing director at the Studio Hamburg subsidiary, will also be involved in the production of German-language TV and features. He will work alongside fellow managing directors Andre Fahning and Henrik Meyer.

Letterbox previously worked with the German outpost of Warner Bros on three films: Rainer Kaufmann's Long Hello & Short Goodbye, Gernot Roll's 'Ne Guenstige Gelegenheit; and, most recently, Miguel Alexandre's Gran Paradiso.

"There was no formal arrangement with Warner as there is now with Concorde", Esenwein said. "[The Warner] collaboration just developed from one project to the next".