Studio will make local-language films

Universal Pictures is set to become the second major to set up a local-language production arm in Germany, following Sony Pictures Entertainment’s move earlier this month.

As Universal expands globally, the studio is “beginning to invest a lot of money in production outside the U.S.,” Universal co-chairman David Linde told trade magazine Blickpunkt: Film.

Linde is expected to unveil the studio’s German strategy and the person who’ll oversee the Berlin-based production office during the Berlin Film Festival, which kicks off Feb. 7.

U is already involved in local co-production and distribution and has scored major success with the comedy franchise “7 Dwarves.” It’s releasing Christian Goerlitz’s 1980s-set laffer “Fleisch ist mein Gemuese,” starring Maxim Mehmet, on April 17; it opened Peter Kahane’s children’s film “Die rote Zora” last week.

Sony has set up a European production headquarters in Berlin and appointed Maike Haas as VP of international production, Europe.

Haas will oversee the Euro operation, identifying and developing film productions, with a focus on German-language and pan-European fare.

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