'Lives' pair, Barefoot form 'Friendship'

Sony Pictures Intl. is partnering with Quirin Berg and Max Wiedemann, producers of Oscar-winning drama “The Lives of Others,” as well as Til Schweiger and Tom Zickler’s Barefoot Films on the first feature from the studio’s recently revived Deutsche Columbia Pictures Film.

A buddy comedy set in 1989 after the fall of the Berlin Wall, “Friendship” follows a young East German who flies to San Francisco with his best friend to find his father, who fled the communist country 12 years before.

Matthias Schweighoefer (“The Red Baron”) toplines, with Markus Goller directing from a screenplay by Oliver Ziegenbalg, who penned Schweiger’s upcoming laffer “1½ Knights — In Search of the Ravishing Princess Herzelinde.”

“By supporting a tremendously talented emerging new director and an exciting young cast, and teaming them with accomplished, award-winning producers, ‘Friendship’ represents the kind of movie we want to support as part of our local-language portfolio,” said Deborah Schindler, Sony Pictures Intl. Motion Picture Prod. prexy.

Deutsche Columbia VP Maike Haas will oversee production, with Sony set to release in Germany.

Haas, a former production and acquisitions manager at Disney, moved to Sony this year.

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