'The Cut,' 'Layla' among company's auteur offerings

“A Prophet” star Tahar Rahim is set to star in Fatih Akin’s “The Cut,” the third installment in the filmmaker’s trilogy on the human condition.

Examining evil in people, “The Cut” follows 2004’s “Head-On,” which dealt with love, and 2007’s “The Edge of Heaven,” which revolved around death. Akin and Klaus Maeck’s Hamburg-based Corazon Intl. and Cologne-based Pandora Film are producing.

It’s one of a slew of upcoming productions Pandora unveiled at the Berlinale. The company, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is also producing Pia Marais’ “Layla Fourie,” about a young single mother in South Africa whose life becomes entangled in lies, fear and suspicion after taking a job administering polygraph tests. Produced by Pandora as a co-production with Johannesburg-based DV8 Films, IDTV in Amsterdam, Paris-based Cinema Defacto and WDR/arte, “Layla Fourie” stars Rayna Campbell and August Diehl. The Match Factory is selling the film globally.

Also on the slate is Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive,” a love story set in Detroit and Tangiers between two people grappling with the decline of civilization; Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddelston and John Hurt star. Pandora is co-producing with London-based Recorded Pictures, with HanWay Films handling world sales. Sung-Hyung Cho (“Full Metal Village”) is directing “11 Freundinnen,” a documentary on the German women’s national soccer team and the 2011 FIFA World Championship produced by Pandora and 3Sat/ZDF.

Pandora is teaming with Bridgit Folman Film Gang in Israel on Ari Folman’s “The Congress,” a loose adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s novel “The Futurological Congress,” starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston, Jon Hamm and Paul Giamatti. Poland’s Opus Film, ARP Selection in France, Belgium’s Entre Chien et Loup and Paul Thiltges are co-producing, with the Match Factory handling world sales.

Additional co-productions include “My Friend Vijay,” by Sam Garbarski (“Irina Palm”). Pic turns on a man, mistakenly believed dead, who discovers his newly widowed wife has taken an unseemly romantic interest in a dashing Indian. Entre Chien et Loup is producing with Pandora and Luxembourg-based Samsa Film. The company’s Berlin subsid Pola Pandora is partnering with France’s Pierre Grise Productions on Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors,” starring Denis Lavant, Kylie Minogue, Eva Mendes and Michel Piccoli in a tale of a being who takes possession of multiple people. Also in the works is Erik Skjoldbjaerg’s “Pionier,” a conspiracy-thriller set at the beginning of the Norwegian gold rush.

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