You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlinale: Studiocanal Germany Sets Sebastian Schipper’s ‘Caravan,’ Lars Kraume’s ‘The Silent Revolution’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Vivendi-owned Studiocanal goes glocal in Europe’s third biggest movie market

BERLIN — Launching Liam Neeson’s  “Hard Powder” at Berlin’s European Film Market, Vivendi’s European film-TV group Studiocanal is set to produce, distribute and sell two new German projects: “Caravan,” Sebastian Schipper’s follow-up to “Victoria,” and “The Silent Revolution,” from Lars Kraume whose “The People vs. Fritz Bauer” was a Cohen Media Group pick-up for North America.

Produced out of Studiocanal Germany, a production-distribution company headed by CEO Kalle Friz, “Caravan” and “The Silent Revolution” form part of a 2017 six-movie slate as Studiocanal, Europe’s biggest film investor this decade, powers up production in the continent’s third biggest movie market.

Also Germany’s biggest distributor of international independent movies, playing off an output deal with Lionsgate which was extended to Summit last year, in Germany Studiocanal can look to its own international productions, such as “Paddington” and “Non-Stop,” plus Lionsgate/Summit titles, to fuel a release slate of around 20 movies per year.

But as German films punch sometimes extraordinary numbers at their domestic box office, it has moved into local production, focusing on three segments, Friz said: Family entertainment, mainstream movies and filmmaker-driven stories.

Wowing the 2015 Berlinale with the one-shot heist thriller “Victoria,” Schipper is writing “Caravan” with Oliver Ziegenbalg (“My Blind Date With Life”).

Set in Morocco, Spain and France, “Caravan” portrays the friendship between Gyllen, a rebellious English teen, and William, an African refugee. Studiocanal aims to shoot this summer, said Friz.

Starring Joerdis Triebel (“Emma’s Bliss”) and Maxim Mehmet (“The Red Baron”), “The Silent Revolution” tells the true-life story of a class of students who in 1956 stood up to the East German regime. They finally decide to flee together to West Germany. Friz called the film “‘Dead Poets Society’ meets ‘The Lives of Others.’”

Plowing into production, Studiocanal is pursuing in Germany its global policy of exploiting brands with top producers, as on “The Little Witch,” based on Otfried Preussler’s children’s classic, from Clausen + Putz (“Heidi”), and romantic drama “Close to the Horizon,” from a Jessica Koch bestseller, with Matthias Schweighofer’s Pantaleon Films (“Highway to Hellas”).

Under production-acquisitions head Isabel Hund, it is also developing “Women Turning 40,” a comedy “in the vein of ‘Bad Moms,’” according to Friz. Studiocanal is also pushing synergies with other parts of Vivendi, an item high-up on Vvendi chairman Vincent Bollore’s strategic wish-list, teaming with Vivendi-owned Universal Music, as well as Ratpack Film and Berlin street dance company The Flying Steps, to develop what Friz terms “an amazing love story/dance film for a broad audience.”

“Our German productions are certainly a key growth driver for our local P & L,” said Friz. “We also believe in the international potential of German films,” he added, pointing to comedy “My Blind Date With Life,” which currently ranks No. 3 at the German box office, earning a first 10-day $2.9 million. It has sold “exceptionally well” abroad, he said. With Studiocanal-released “La La Land” ranking No. 2 in Germany, with $7.7 million to date, Studiocanal’s local strategy is seeing early success.

But Bollore will still want more. Studiocanal’s “core challenge” in Germany is how to increase the value of a 7,000-title catalog, reaching new audiences, said Friz.

“Studiocanal has been able to increase its market share on the catalog in a decreasing [physical home entertainment] market,” Friz added. But “the transition of the catalog into the digital world remains one of the key challenges for the future.”

More Digital

  • NBCU Reality Streaming Service Hayu Launches

    NBCU’s Reality Streaming Service Hayu Launches in Three New Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

    It’s easier to keep up with the Kardashians in the Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg after NBCUniversal launched its reality-TV streaming service, hayu, in those countries Tuesday. The service went live with about 6,000 episodes of unscripted fare from NBCUniversal’s lineup, including “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” “Made in Chelsea” and “The Real Housewives” and [...]

  • Michael Uslan's U2K Becomes Asia-Hollywood Formats

    Michael Uslan's U2K Becomes Asia-Hollywood Formats Pipeline (EXCLUSIVE)

    Michael and David Uslan, the father and son producing team with credits that include “The Dark Knight” and “Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch” have struck a cluster of deals that makes them a two-way conduit for TV formats between Hollywood and Asia. U2K, a company that includes the Uslans and Jon Karas (“Believe in [...]

  • Dish Testing Flixpert Content Recommendation Service

    Dish Tests Movie Recommendations App Flixpert (EXCLUSIVE)

    Dish and its corporate sibling EchoStar have quietly been testing a movie recommendations platform called Flixpert, Variety has learned. Flixpert promises to help people find movies to watch through recommendations from friends and trusted contacts; Dish has been testing mobile apps for the service with a few hundred users. Online footprints suggest that Flixpert has [...]

  • Craig Hunegs WB

    Craig Hunegs to Exit Warner Bros. TV Group and Digital Networks (EXCLUSIVE)

    After nearly 25 years in the Warner Bros. family, Craig Hunegs is exiting his post as head of business for Warner Bros. TV Group and president of the studio’s digital networks wing. Hunegs said he has been discussing his exit with Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Kevin Tsujihara for the past several months. At a time of [...]

  • Google Placeholder

    Google Accelerates Google+ Shutdown Following New Privacy Mishap

    Google will shutter its struggling social network Google+ sooner than previously announced: The company said Monday that Google+ will shut down in April of 2019. It also disclosed a new security vulnerability that briefly exposed personal data of some 52.5 million Google+ users. The bug, which was introduced to Google+ in November, allowed developers to [...]

  • Eddie Lazarus Sonos

    Sonos Hires Tribune General Counsel Eddie Lazarus as Chief Legal Officer

    Smart speaker maker Sonos has hired former Tribune exec Eddie Lazarus as its new chief legal officer. Lazarus will be in charge of all legal, regulatory, compliance and SEC reporting issues, among other things. Prior to joining Sonos, Lazarus worked as general counsel and chief strategy officer for Tribune Media. Before that, he was chief of [...]

  • Rhapsody, Sony Music to Launch Spotify

    Rhapsody, Sony Music to Launch Spotify Competitor in Japan

    Rhapsody and Sony Music Entertainment today announced a partnership to launch what they describe as the first on-demand, high-resolution streaming music service in Japan. Rhapsody International is providing its “Powered by Napster” platform including a set of systems, tools and APIs to allow SMEJ to quickly launch and bring its on-demand service to market. The service, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content