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Web sees ‘Visions,’ ‘Brothers’ in future

German web backs first ever theatrical prod'n

COLOGNE — RTL 2, Germany’s premier reality-format outlet until now, is diversifying its lineup with top fictional programming, including its first-ever theatrical production and HBO’s “Band of Brothers.”

Web has enjoyed a huge but often controversial success with “Big Brother,” which continues to pull strong ratings while jarring some of the channel’s main advertisers. RTL 2 is planning a never-ending version of the show this year, titled “Big Brother Forever.”

At the same time, however, the web is looking to up its fictional programming content. It backed Mona Lenz’s just-completed “Der grosse Schlaf” (The Big Sleep), which has been submitted as a candidate for the upcoming Intl. Berlin Film Fest.

Doting ‘Daughters’

Despite the title, pic is not based on Raymond Chandler’s noir classic but rather William Blake’s 1793 novel “Visions of the Daughters of Albion.” The cryptic, erotic drama about three sisters living on a barren island was shot last year in Ireland. It’s Lenz’s debut feature, although the filmmaker received acclaim for her faux documentary “Miracle Baby,” about a lesbian couple conceiving a child.

“It was interesting for us to get off the mainstream and try a totally different path,” an RTL 2 spokeswoman said. While no other pic projects are in the pipeline, she said the web was open to similar ventures.

RTL 2 has not been involved in movie production since 1995’s suspense thriller “Der Sandmann,” starring Goetz George.

The web also upped the stakes by airing “24,” which began its third season here on Wednesday, and lining up “Band of Brothers” for its German free-TV premiere in spring.

It became the first German web to showcase a Bollywood production when it screened Karan Johar’s hit “Kabhi khushi kabhie gham” (Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad) in November during primetime.

(Ed Meza contributed to this report.)