×

Helkon Media Resurrected by Dutch Investor

The German film industry is about to get a blast from the past: Helkon Media, the once high-flying German producer-distributor that went belly up in 2002, has risen again.

Dutch entrepreneur and investor Jasper M. de Gier, CEO of his Luxembourg-based financial investment firm de Gier & Co., founded the new Helkon in Berlin, where it began operations on Monday.

The new Helkon Media AG will follow in the footsteps of its predecessor: The company aims to develop, produce and distribute feature films and TV series, and will be active in film licensing. Helkon’s current pipeline consists of a number of European films and TV series at different stages of development. It is also looking to expand into other areas, such as music and new media.

While de Gier will manage and monitor the company’s entry into the market, its day-to-day management will be handled by Alec Schulmann, who will serve as head of production, and Maria Lavnikovich, who will oversee development. Active in international co-productions since 1999, Schulmann’s credits include Sergey Bodrov’s “Mongol, The Rise of Genghis Khan,” which he executive produced.

“For me, the new launch of this legendary company from the Neuer Markt era is a dream come true,” said de Gier, adding that it was a project he had been focusing on for years. De Gier began working on reviving what was left of the original Helkon in 2007.

The original Helkon was co-founded in Munich in 1991 by Martin Heldmann and Werner Koenig, who was killed in an Alpine avalanche in 2000 while scouting a film in the Swiss Alps. Despite becoming a leading company in the Neuer Markt, Germany’s once bustling tech and media share exchange that flourished in the late 1990s, Helkon filed for insolvency in 2002 — the same year the Neuer Markt shuttered after losing nearly all of its value.

The new company’s “goal is to pick up where the old Helkon left off,” de Gier added.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

  • Vitalina Varela

    Locarno Film Review: 'Vitalina Varela'

    Frequently beautiful compositions and the theatrical use of a fierce kind of artifice have long been the hallmarks of Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa, regarded by a small but influential group of aesthetes as one of the great filmmakers of our era. For those in tune with his vision, the director’s films offer an exciting lesson [...]

  • Notre dame

    Locarno Film Review: 'Notre dame'

    Not to be too cynical about it, but might the recent horrific fire in Paris’ cathedral attract audiences to a film in which the gothic gem plays a major role? It’s likely a wiser marketing strategy than promoting the unrelenting silliness of Valerie Donzelli’s oh-so-kooky comedy “Notre dame,” the writer-director-star’s return to contemporary Paris following [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content