Greenlight gives go to bigscreen docs

Schlamberger-directed duo, 'Vladimir' toons upcoming

Berlin-based Greenlight Media, producer with BBC Worldwide of theatrical documentary “Deep Blue,” is moving into production on two theatrical docs: the $6 million “Siberia: Discover the Unknown” and the $3 million “Between Heaven and Earth: The Alps.”

It also is producing two animated features, both action-adventure pics mixing classical and 3-D animation and based on the 10th-century Russian hero Vladimir, who became the country’s first king.

Budgeted at E8 million ($9.6 million), the first movie, “Vladimir: Little Red Sun,” will be ready for delivery in 2005.

Both “Siberia” and “Between Heaven” will be directed by Austrian award-winning docu filmmaker Michael Schlamberger (“The Emerald River”).

“Between Heaven” will be co-produced by Schlamberger’s Science Vision; Universum has equity on “Siberia.” Greenlight will handle world sales on both.

The Alpine docu will chart the unknown on much of Europe’s doorstep, a much-visited mountain range that still harbors brown bears and wolves. It is skedded for delivery in February.

Co-produced by Russia’s Park VI, “Siberia” will travel the breadth of the region from the Urals to Kamchatka.

Greenlighting the two documentaries is aimed to maintain production levels at the company, and to continue to supply new films to distributors who have been carving out significant audiences with the Greenlight/BBC Worldwide “Deep Blue,” said producer Sophokles Tasioulis.

“Deep Blue” has been the most successful German film at home in the first quarter of this year. It grossed $6 million in France and north of $2 million in Switzerland, Tasioulis said.

Greenlight’s second collaboration with BBC Worldwide, “Planet Earth,” has completed 300 of its 4,000 multi-crew shooting days.

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