Berlin-based X-Filmecreative pool and private media fund manager Promedia have launched a newanimation company, Animation-X, with a full-length traditional animation calledThe Three Robbers (Die Drei Rauber), to go into production in July ofthis year.

Animation-X plans to makebetween two and three projects a year, both traditional and CG animation.

Animation-X has brought inexperienced independent producer Stephan Schesch (Werner 2, The CantervilleGhost) to oversee the new company. The Three Robbers, budgeted atEuros 3.7m, is an animated version of Tomi Ungerer's 1963 children's classic ofthe same name and is being adapted by Achim and Bettine von Borries.

Animation-X plans to targetprecise groups, from young children to older teenagers.

The RVG/Studio 88 animationstudio, whose credits include the TV series and feature film Der KleineKoenig Macius and the TV pilot Die Blaue Wolke, will handle thephysical production on The Three Robbers from July 2005 under thedirection of Udo Beissel.

X-Filme's distribution arm XVerleih is planning a German release date for November 2006 to coincide withTomi Ungerer's 75th birthday.

The Three Robbers is being developed in cooperation with RVG andSchesch's own company Schesch Filmproduktion and is expected to be co-producedby one of Promedium's GFP German Film Productions media funds. To date, the GFPfunds have invested private equity in 22 TV and feature film projects,including the comedy Der Wixxer and such TV events as Das Wunder VonLengede.