‘Silence’ speaks to Dresen

Helmer takes over the late Eichinger's last project

German helmer Andreas Dresen, currently in Cannes with his Un Certain Regard screener “Halt auf freier Strecke” (Stopped on Track), has taken over writer-director duties on “Schweigeminute” (A Minute’s Silence), developed by the late Bernd Eichinger.

Based on the bestseller by Siefried Lenz, published in the U.S. as “Stella,” “Silence” revolves around a love affair between an 18-year-old and his English teacher during a summer on Germany’s Baltic coast in the 1960s.

Dresen is working on the screenplay and will direct for Constantin Film with Oliver Berben set to produce.

With his affinity for bittersweet events, Dresen appears ideal for Lenz’s melancholy romance. His “Stopped on Track,” tells the story of a man confronted with his own mortality after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Eichinger, who died in January, had intended to write and produce “Silence” in 2008, re-teaming with director Uli Edel (“The Baader Meinhof Complex”), but ultimately let it go.

At the time of his death, Eichinger was working on a film about Austrian kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch, who spent more than eight years in a windowless cell in Vienna before escaping her captor in 2006.

Constantin is looking for a director to take over that project and hopes to have it in production next year.

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