This article was updated at 2:30 p.m. PT on August.3, 2003.

BERLIN — “Bibi Blocksberg II,” the follow-up to last year’s most successful German film, is set to start shooting Thursday in southern and central Germany.

The first “Bibi Blocksberg,” based on the popular children’s books about a precocious young witch who uses her magical powers for good, cost E5.6 million ($6.3 million) and earned $11 million at the box office. It won Corinna Harfouch the German Film Award for supporting actress.

Harfouch will be back in the $7.3 million sequel as evil witch Rabia, along with Sidonie von Krosigk as Bibi, Katja Riemann, Ulrich Noethen and Monika Bleibtreu.

Director Franziska Buch (“Emil and the Detectives”) is taking over helming duties from Hermine Huntgeburth. The pic will be shot on location in and around Munich and in the historic town of Naumburg.

Shelling out

Bavaria Film is co-producing with Berlin-based Kiddinx Entertainment, Munich’s Gustav Ehmck Filmproduktion and pubcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk. Constantin Film will be releasing the film domestically.

The FFA federal film board has backed the project with $1 million, while additional support is coming from Bavaria’s FFF and MDM, middle Germany’s regional movie subsidy.