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Teutons set up U.S. shops

Pubcaster ARD wants 'local presence' in H'wood

The Germans are coming to town, as four companies opened U.S. offices here in February alone.

Leading German distrib Kinowelt has opened L.A.-based production arm Kinowelt USA, tapping vet German producer Chris Sievernich to head up the new operation.

Germany’s pubcasters also want in on the act. ARD opened its L.A. acquisitions-oriented office in Santa Monica on Feb. 21.

“The ever-increasing money from the Neuer Markt is flowing to Hollywood, where there seems to be no American film made without German money,” said ARD’s L.A. rep, Herbert von Spreti.

“It is logical that the German companies open offices here,” he added. “ARD has had a relationship with Hollywood for decades, but in this increasingly competitive environment, it is important to have local presence.”

Strategic alliance

Austrian company DoRo Prods. has bowed its new outpost in Santa Monica. Company has formed a strategic alliance with production outfit Cucoloris, with which it is sharing premises.

“We have opened the office to get right into the U.S. market,” said DoRo co-founder Rudi Dolezal. “We are going to help Cucoloris get a foothold in Europe and vice versa.”

DoRo is kicking off with a feature film on Austrian rock singer Falco, which will be its first co-production with Cucoloris.

Germany’s second-largest rights trader, Tele-Munchen, has gone for Gotham with former CBS Broadcast Intl. president Rainer Siek heading up operations there. Office is also repping TMG partners, the kidvid operator EM.TV & Merchandising and pan-European broadcasting ally SBS Broadcasting.

Also in the works is an L.A. outpost for Barry Baeres’ German-based licensing company Intertainment.

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