‘Laura’s Star’ sequel takes cash

Animation receives $562,000

COLOGNE — German film funding org Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg has awarded $562,000 to animated feature “Laura’s Star in China.”

The Rothkirch Cartoon Film production is a sequel to “Laura’s Star,” which took a stellar $7.5 million at the German B.O in 2004 and won best children’s film at the German Film Awards the following year.

Like the first pic, “Laura’s Star in China” is based on a fairytale tome by Piet de Rycker.

The funding body gave $555,000 to the Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes starrer “The Reader.” The Stephen Daldry helmed pic will be lensed in Berlin.

The funder shared a total $3.2 million between 16 projects.

Also on the gift list was romantic comedy “Robert Zimmer wundert sich ueber die Liebe,” helmed by Leander Haussmann. The pic took $347,000.

Amounts of $278,000 each went to drama “Mitte Ende August,” helmed by Sebastian Schippers and based on the writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Zentropa’s “Mammoth” by Lukas Moodysson, and slapstick comedy “U 900,” lined up by “The Lives of Others” shingle Wiedemann & Berg.

“U 900” was initially announced under the title “U 911,” and is directed by Sven Unterwaldt, who helmed fairytale spoof “Seven Dwarves” and its sequel, both massive hits in Germany.

Experimental pics “Fade a Way,” helmed by Fritz Flieder, and “My Bird Flies Faster,” by Guelseli Billebaur, and English language horror comedy “The Less Alive,” helmed by Andreas Schaap, also were handed cash.

Among international co-productions to receive coin were Pablo Aguero’s “Salamandra” and Najwy Naijar’s “Pomegranate and Myrrh.”

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