Festen's Ulrich Thomsen, Crash's Jack McGee and Million Dollar Baby's Brian F. O'Byrne have joined the multi-national cast for Tom Tykwer's action thriller The International, headlined by Clive Owen and Naomi Watts.

The film started shooting earlier today at the Babelsberg studios outside of Berlin after a week of location work in Istanbul.

The Mosaic Media Group production of a co-production between the UK's Rose Line Productions and Siebente Babelsberg Film will be spending nine of its 13-week shoot at Babelsberg sound stages - including a reconstruction of New York's famous Guggenheim Museum - or on location in the German capital.

Speaking at a start of production press conference in Babelsberg, Mosaic Media's Charles 'Chuck' Roven said that 'honestly, if it wasn't for the wonderful citizens of Berlin and Potsdam, the [German incentive scheme] DFFF and the Babelsberg people, we really wouldn't be here.'

The International has been the third production after two other US productions Speed Racer and Valkyrie to break the DFFF's $5.6m (Euros 4m) 'cap' when it was awarded $8.2m (Euros 5.8m) production support last month.

'We had absolutely no choice about whether to come to Berlin,' added producer Lloyd Phillips. 'Tom is Berlin-based and the story is set in Berlin. Tom was very anxious to make sure that this film always came to Berlin. But more importantly than that, there is a fantastic tradition of filmmaking here. Studio Babelsberg has really become a centre of filmmaking in Europe and very few other countries in Europe have the same facilities. We found that being able to establish our production here and then send our German crew to Istanbul and Milan, it is a very efficient way to make a film at a very reasonable price.'

The International will be released in the US on Aug 15 next year and is set open in German cinemas on Sept 11.