Thesp Schrader ready to take helm

Teuton screen star directs Israeli novelist's work

COLOGNE — German actress-scribe Maria Schrader is prepping her first pic as director, an adaptation of a novel by Israeli author Zeruya Shalev.

Project received a production support of EUR300,000 ($390,000) from German film-funding body FFA.

Schrader appeared in “Aimee & Jaguar” and “The Tulse Luper Suitcases,” and wrote the script for “Meschugge” (“The Giraffe”). Her debut as helmer, “Liebesleben” (Love Life), is a German-Israeli co-production involving Berlin-based X-Filme Creative Pool, to be filmed in Israel this year.

FFA is also supporting the new pic by Oskar Roehler, whose “Agnes and his Brothers” has just entered theaters. His upcoming project is an adaptation of swinger novel “Elementary Particles” by French writer Michel Houellebecq, featuring Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu.

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The body in January allocated $4.7 million for eight productions, including Paul Verhoeven’s Eurofilm project “Blackbook,” Rolf Schuebel’s “Der letzte Zug” and “Knallhart” by comedy helmer Detlev Buck.

The highest amounts — $780,00 each — went to kids pics, “Die Drei Detektive,” animation “Dodo” and “Hui Buh, the Castle Ghost,” starring Michael Bully Herbig, helmer of last year’s domestic box office topper “Dreamship Surprise.”

FFA also announced the distribution of $1.2 million by the German-French Funding Commission. The three co-productions supported are Norra Hoppe’s “Gorgomeesh,” Christophe de Ponfilly’s “L’etoile du soldat,” and Gillaume Nicloux’s “Der Steinerne Kreis.”