A $15.4m (DM 33.2m) two-part TV biopic on the life of Italian automobile legend Enzo Ferrari is one of four projects lined up by Germany's Victory Media for its latest media fund, Victory MultiMediaFonds Private Placement which was launched on October 31.

The $38.5m (DM 83.1m) fund intends to attract private individuals each investing at least $464,000 (DM 1m) by 21 December 2001 for the financing of three live-action internationally marketable TV projects in co-operation with DeAngelis Production & Distribution (DAP), a joint venture concluded in July 2000 between Victory Media and the DeAngelis Group; and an animation series with Berlin-based Hahn Film, which is 25% owned by Constantin Film.

Principal photography on the Ferrari project is set to begin on location in Italy in January 2002 with Sergio Castellitto, Cristina Moglia and Francesca de Sapio and Carlo Carlei directing for Amsterdam-based Global Entertainment Productions (GEP).

GEP will also handle production early next year on another TV two-parter to be co-produced by Victory with DAP, the $10.8m (DM 23.3m) Il Papa Buono, about the life of Pope John XXIII with Bob Hoskins starring as the cleric under Riccardo Tognazzi's direction. In addition, a November 2002 start has been scheduled in Italy and Malta by GEP for another four episodes of an ambitious series set at the time of the Roman Empire, S.P.Q.R. (working title) which Victory plans to see running to a total of 110 episodes.

At the same time, production is due to crank up in February 2002 on Hahn Film's 26-part animation series Arabian Nights where the fund will put up 75% of the $6.9m (DM 14.88m) production costs. Hahn Film's owner Gerhard Hahn will direct and serve as the executive producer for the series which was one of the projects presented at the Cartoon Forum financing gathering in Garmisch Partenkirchen at the end of September.

Meanwhile, the current boom in the popularity of the DVD format and its future prospects have prompted the Krefeld-based DVD service company RoBo Filmateliers to launch a $9.1m (Euros 10m) fund - RoBo Film KG - to invest in the acquisition of licenses for the international distribution of films on DVD.

Initiated by RoBo Filmateliers' Tim Schnoeckelborg and Rudolf Boesch, RoBo Film KG is looking for private German individuals to each invest a minimum of $6,800 (Euros 7,500) in the fund by 31 March 2002 for the financing of a broad portfolio of titles to feature films, documentaries and animation films for distribution on DVD.