Cologne/Erfurt-based production house Tradewind Pictures and the MMC studios' production arm MMC Independent have signed a first-look deal for a long-term co-operation on the production of national and international feature films.

As part of the agreement, both partners will offer each other the chance to board projects as a co-producer. As Tradewind's managing director Thomas Springer explained, 'this will make the financing of our projects with a studio shoot that much easier if we can reckon on the studio and its services through them being a co-producing partner'.

Similarly, the partnership would give MMC Independent access to Tradewind's extensive knowledge and experience in the development and financing of feature projects for the national and international markets, which would be particularly useful for projects acquired from abroad that involve a studio shoot..

The first joint project as part of this deal will be the family entertainment film Mein Bruder Ist Ein Hund (My Brother Is A Dog) which has been developed by Tradewind with support from Filmstiftung NRW and scripted by Thomas Springer. Public broadcaster WDR is already onboard the project which is set to start shooting in spring 2003 at the MMC Studios as well as outside locations in Thuringia.

Tradewind Pictures and MMC Independent - who served as German co-producer on Amelie and The King Is Dancing - had previously worked together on Uwe Janson's thriller Nachts Im Park which is being handled internationally by Beta Cinema.