Universum Film, co-producer/distrubutor of Brad Anderson's thriller Transsiberian, has boarded its first German-language project, Lars Buechel's Lippel's Dream (Lippels Traum) which begins shooting in Morocco's Ouarzazate today.

The co-production between Ulrich Limmer's Collina Film, Universum Film, Bayerischer Rundfunk, B.A. Produktion, and Buechel's own production outfit element e, is based on Paul Maar's 1984 children's book classic of the same name and follows the adventures of a 11-year-old boy as he escapes into a dream world set in the Orient every evening.

Starring child actors Karl Alexander Seidel, Amrita Cheema and Steve-Marvin Dwumah appearing opposite Anke Engelke, Moritz Bleibtreu, Christiane Paul and Uwe Ochsenknecht, Lippel's Dream marks the fourth collaboration between the author Maar and producer Limmer after The Slurb (Das Sams), My Magical Friend Sams (Sams In Gefahr) and Herr Bello. Backing has come from FFF Bayern, German Federal Film Board (FFA), Filmfoerderung Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein and German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).

This is the fifth film with Universum serving as co-producer and distributor since 2005 following Hans Horn's English-language thriller Open Water 2, Anderson's Transsiberian - which screened in the Berlinale's Panorama Special last month - and the two animation features Der Mondbaer Und Seine Freunde and Prinzessin Lillifee.

Universum will release the film theatrically in Germany in 2009, while Telepool will handle international sales.