Beta Cinema to distrib X Filme pics

Kirch division to present 'Lie,' 'Love,' 'Soundless' at Mifed

BERLIN — International distributor Beta Cinema has inked a deal with Berlin producer X Filme for worldwide rights to three of the company’s new titles.

Beta Cinema, the theatrical division of Kirch Media’s international sales company Beta Film, will present Hendrik Handloegten’s “Learning to Lie,” Achim von Borries’ “Love in Thoughts” and Mennan Yapo’s “Soundless” at the Mifed film mart in Milan (Nov. 9-13).

“Learning to Lie,” currently in release in Germany, will screen at the market. “Love in Thoughts,” which stars “Good Bye, Lenin!” thesp Daniel Bruehl in a true story about a suicide club in 1920s Berlin, and “Soundless,” a love story about a hitman, are in post-production and due out next year.

“We are very pleased to establish our worldwide distribution activities on a broader, international basis,” said Stefan Arndt, managing director of X Filme and producer of “Good Bye, Lenin!”

Beta is also offering “Berlin Blues” from director Leander Haussmann; his first feature, “Sun Alley,” became a runaway hit in 1999. “Berlin Blues” looks at 1980s Berlin through the eyes of a slacker coming to terms with the changes in the world around him.

Also in Beta’s catalog are Igor Zaritki’s controversial psychological thriller “Devot,” which premiered at this year’s Berlin Film Festival; “Ghetto,” adapted from the award-winning play about a Jewish theater in the Vilnius Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Lithuania; and “Kleinruppin Forever,” a comedy about twin brothers living separately in East and West Germany who switch places.

Meanwhile, the fate of Beta Film remains up in the air as Kirch Media’s insolvency management reviews bids for the distributor and for the vast Kirch Media library, the final assets of the Kirch media empire to be put on the block.

Beta Film topper Jens Richter is seeking a management buyout with backing from U.K. private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital, but a number of other bidders, including former Kirch Media exec Jan Mojto, are looking to buy some or all of the library, much of which is distributed by Beta.

Kirch Media recently laid off about 160 employees, or two-thirds of its work force, as it enters the final stages of its 18-month-old insolvency. The remaining 80 employees will be responsible for the administration of the remaining film rights in the company’s massive library, which contains some 15,000 titles.

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