Danish powerhouse Zentropa has launched a new pan-European production initiative.

Zentropa's partners are Young Europeans - as the initiative is called - aims to make eight films over a two year period. Budgets of each film will be in the $2.5m (1.5m Euros) range.

The partners include IDTV in Holland, Slot Machine in France, uj Budapest in HBungary, Ripple World Pictures in Ireland, heimatfilm in Germany, STI Studio in Poland and Sigma Film in Scotland. The rights will be divided between the companies.

A handful of projects are already in development, among then Greg Zglinski's Ash Driver (Poland), Manyar I. Parwani's Before We Die (Denmark), Robert Adrian Pejo's Duke (Hungary), Iván Lopez Núñez's Evening Land (The Netherlands), a project from Jacqueline Perrin for Ripple World Pictures Ltd. In Ireland and a British project with director to be announced from Sigma.

TrustNordisk is set to handle world sales on the entire slate.

'Our ambition is to launch the films in Cannes in two years together,' said Zentropa's Ib Tardini.

Zentropa is aiming to secure slate financing from Eurimages or The Media Programme. The films will be shown separately in the theatres but the aim is to distribute all eight as a series to several broadcasters round Europe.