Helmer Holger Ernst — whose official Cannes entry “The House Is Burning” was exec produced by Wim Wenders — is reteaming with Wenders on “D.O.P.E.: Dreaming of Paradise Europe,” a political pic following a group of North Africans’ tenuous, politically charged relationship with Europe.
Pic centers on characters in Morocco’s Rif mountains — the world’s largest hotbed for hashish — and tells the story of young residents there who dream of a better life, but are faced with two options: farming cannabis or trying to illegally cross into Europe.
“As an African, you are definitely left outside,” said the helmer, who added that “meeting (Wenders and Wenders’ Reverse Angle Intl. partner Peter Schwarzkopff) definitely made these movies possible, opening doors and getting cast.”
“Burning” centers on American teenagers struggling to find their way.
Schwarzkopff will produce “Paradise,” with Katja Siegel. Producers describe the new pic as being “in the vein of ‘Syriana’ and ‘City of God.'”
Sales on “Burning” are being repped by Roger Kass’ RingtheJing Entertainment.