Benbihy embraces ‘Berlin, I Love You’

3rd project in Cities in Love franchise

The makers of a cinematic ode to the German capital, originally titled “Love Berlin — How We Met,” have reached an agreement with French producer Emmanuel Benbihy, the creative force behind the “Cities of Love” franchise that includes 2006’s “Paris, je t’aime” and 2009’s “New York, I Love You.”

Producers Steffen Aumueller and Claus Clausen of Munich-based the Very Useful Co. announced the Berlin project at the Berlinale two years ago as being unrelated to Benbihy’s series.

That has now changed, along with the title. The project will now move forward as “Berlin, I Love You,” an episodic film that explores love in the German metropolis.

Benbihy exec produces; Clausen and Aumueller produce alongside Josef Steinberger of Berlin-based Rheingold Films as well as Katharina Kowalewski and Edda Reiser.

“After lots of discussions and work behind the scenes, we are glad this film will finally lift off as it would have been a shame to give up on such a wonderful project,” Clausen said.

“Berlin, I Love You” will be the third film in the franchise after the Paris and New York pics.

The production will comprise 10 short love stories directed by established helmers, each set in a different neighborhood of the city with intermediate scenes telling an overarching story.

Among the directors expected to participate in the project is Oren Moverman, who received the Silver Bear at the 2009 Berlinale. The project will also feature some 20 German and international thesps.

“Each director will provide his own perspective and style, reflecting the richness and fascination of Berlin, its landscape and its people,” Clausen said. “This blend of creative and cultural perspective will prove to be one of the film’s most powerful resources.”

Added Benbihy: “I am thrilled that the city of Berlin will be one of our cities of love as I have always envisioned it. This is one of the most creative and lively cities in the world filled with diversity and a unique history that calls for love and reconciliation. It also has an incredible A-list film festival which defends film diversity in a big way.”

Benbihy’s U.S.-based Ever So Close Inc. is working on planned Cities of Love projects in Shanghai, Rio and Jerusalem.

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