Luxembourg’s Iris Group Powers Up English-Language Projects

The Iris Group, the Luxembourg-based film studio that is presenting its first two English-language co-productions, Terence Davies’s “Sunset Song” and Emma Watson starrer “Colonia” at Toronto, is set to produce two more international projects.

A mini-major with production and financing companies in France (Rezo Films), Belgium (Iris Films), Germany (Iris Deutschland) and the U.K. (Iris Group), the pan-European outfit is now producing Nicolas Steil’s culinary thriller “Fruit du Diable” (Devil’s Fruit) and Enzo d’Alo’sanimated “Prince de la Cite des Sables” (Prince of the Sands City).

“This Toronto festival marks a turning point for the Iris Group as we’re now getting ready to focus more on English-language movies and series,” said Nicolas Steil, the Iris Group CEO. “Our first two English-language co-productions — ‘Colonia,’ which is Emma Watson’s first leading role since ‘Harry Potter,’ and Terrence Davies’ ‘Sunset Song’ — reflect our ambitions.”

As part of its aim to expand its portfolio, Steil has tapped Thomas Saigne, a French industryite who co-organized this year’s inaugural edition of the Cannes film market’s Investors Club, as head of international business affairs.

Based on Tom Hillenbrand’s German bestseller “Teufelsfrucht,” “Devil” will topline German star Moritz Bleibtreu as a chef in Luxembourg who comes across dirty details about the creation of industrial processing while investigating the murders of a food critic and a famed chef.

“Devil” marks the sophomore outing of Steil, a former war correspondent, TV journalist, who also headed the European Commission’s funding program Euro Aim and launched Iris Prods. in 1986. Steil made his feature debut with “Refractaire,” a WWII drama with Pierre Niney (“Yves Saint Laurent”).

Iris Prods. Deutschland is producing “Devil” with Studio Hamburg.

“Prince of the Sands City” is sixth animated feature from director Enzo d’Alo (“Pinnochio”). “Prince” is being backed by the Luxembourg Film Fund, France’s CNC and the E.U.’s Media Program.

Repped by Beta Cinema, “Colonia” (pictured above) is directed by Florian Gallenberger and stars Watson, Daniel Bruhl and Michael Nyqvist. Meanwhile, “Sunset Song,” sold by Fortissimo Films, stars Agyness Deyn and Peter Mullan.

The Iris Group is also developing three TV series with German and French partners, and co-producing “Falko,” a 1517-set family thriller helmed by Dennis Bots.

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