Production to begin soon on Dresen film

Teuton distrib/production house Senator has greenlit a German-language pic about people in their 70s having sex. Entitled “Wolke 9″ (“Cloud 9″), the pic is helmed by Andreas Dresen (“Summer in Berlin”) and will be shot on digital.

“Sex amongst elderly people is a hot topic,” says Senator’s distribution topper Anatol Nitschke. “Something that really hits a nerve in Germany at the moment. That’s why we want to make this film really fast and most of the script will be improvised.” Production is to start shortly.

Following the shoot of “Cloud,” Dresen will immediately embark on his next project for Senator “Whisky mit wodka” about a famous thesp who’s given a younger, better-looking stand-in because of his alcohol problem.

Principal photography is scheduled for September. Dresen will shoot both pics back-to-back and start editing “Cloud” once he’s finished shooting “Whisky.” Peter Rommel will act as producer on both titles.

Senator topper Marco Weber, who took over the formerly bankrupt company just over a year ago, has been trying to establish Senator as a filmmaker-friendly mini-indie that handles everything from edgy arthouse such as “Shortbus” to mainstream Teuton laffers as Senator’s own production “Complete Idiots.”

During last year’s Cannes Weber went on a spending spree buying six titles including “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Paris je t’aime,” “Shortbus” and “Hard Candy.” He was also the first one to pre-buy “Son of Rambow,” which was later picked up by Paramount.

“We’ve survived that difficult first year and I feel my strategy and decisions have been validated. Both ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and “Paris je t’aime’ worked really well theatrically and with ‘Hard Candy’ and “Short Bus’ we’re doing good business on DVD,” stated Weber adding that his deals for this year’s Cannes were imminent.

Under Senator’s output deal with the Weinstein Co., Weber decided to split “Grindhouse” into two pics and release Quentin Tarantino’s “Deathproof” in July and Robert Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror” in August.

“The name ‘Grindhouse’ doesn’t mean anything in Germany and we knew from the start that there would be no point in screening the two films together. So we’ve developed a completely different marketing campaign including completely different artwork,” Weber said.

In addition to Teuton pics, Senator is also producing English-language including the recently wrapped Julia Roberts starrer “Fireflies in the Garden,” which is sold by Essential Entertainment.

Added Weber: “Our range is very wide and that’s the way we’re going to keep it.”

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