Denmark's Zentropa and Calyx Film Production are teaming up with Scottish production outfits Sigma Films and Antonine Films to produce a raft of features in Scotland. Scottish Screen is backing the untitled partnership.
According to Calyx's Lisbeth Matz, the Danish outfits have been building relationships with the Scottish producers since Zentropa's Lars von Trier shot Breaking The Waves in Scotland. "Since then we have been developing ideas and projects independently, until suddenly we could all see them come together," Matz said.
Calyx and Sigma have lined up two features to co-produce: $900,000 (£600,000) Last Great Wilderness, which will be shot in November on digital video supported by Scottish Screen's digital fund, and the $2.75m (£1.85m) High Tide, which is co-produced with BBC Scotland and written by Peter Jinks. Both are to be directed by David Mackenzie.
Projects which Zentropa plans to make through the new venture include its co-productions with the US' Fine Line and Germany's Kinowelt: sci-fi thriller Last Born, to be written and directed by Niels Arden; Moments Of Clarity, to be directed by Mikael Colville Andersen, and an adaptation of Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder's Through A Glass Darkly. The three projects are budgeted between $8m and $15m.
Zentropa co-founder Peter Aalbaek Jensen used the venture's launch to comment on the company's on-going struggle with the Danish Film Institute, which recently announced that it won't support English-language features budgeted at more than DKr3m ($363,000).
"Anywhere apart from Denmark you get plenty of support as soon as you have proved you can make films," Aalbaek Jensen said. "Through this deal, the Scottish government is going to pay all establishing costs as well as support us for two years. An offer like that we can't refuse."
Although Scottish Screen has not said how much money it is putting into the venture, the partners are aiming to produce three features a year.