You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlin: Zodiak Belgium, Films in Motion Join for ‘Life’

Zodiak Belgium is teaming up with American producer René Asch’s Berlin-based Films in Motion to co-produce the feature film “Life Through a Dead Man’s Eyes,”  about an aging Nazi concentration camp guard trying to evade capture by U.S. authorities.

For Zodiak Belgium, a subsidiary of Banijay Group, the project marks the first feature film co-production with a German producer.

“It perfectly fits where we want to go with the company: international co-productions with companies that we relate to and based on stories that we want to share with the world,” says Serge Bierset, Zodiak Belgium’s head of drama. “The story also relates to us and to our Belgian audience. We were part of the same terrible war in which a lot of Belgian, Flemish, Jewish and non-Jewish people became victims.”

The story follows an escaped 84-year old Nazi SS death camp guard who, suspecting he’s in danger of being apprehended by U.S. authorities for war crimes, assumes an unlikely identity and hides in the most improbable place.

Jo Baier (“The End Is My Beginning”) is set to direct the English-language film from a script by U.S. screenwriter J. Frank James. Matthias Habich (“Berlin Syndrome”), Herbert Knaup (“In Darkness”) and Silke Bodenbender (“Wild”) lead the cast.

Ash and Bierset are aiming to finance “Life Through a Dead Man’s Eyes” through the German Federal Film Board and Germany’s regional funds with support from the Belgium Tax Shelter and that country’s funds. Asch and Bierset are executive producing the film, which is currently budgeted at €2.25 million ($2.76 million). Munich-based Morefilms is handling international sales for the title.

Bierset says Zodiak Belgium is eager to increase co-productions with German and other international film producers. “It has been my conviction for years, as head of drama for ZodiakBelgium, that we should co-produce internationally more and more in the future, both TV dramas as well as feature films.”

While Zodiak Belgium focuses largely on TV content, it has produced and co-produced some mainstream and genre titles for its domestic market and is now seeking to “expand the range of projects towards other areas, like internationally co-produced auteur cinema, historical films or children’s stories,” Bierset said.

To that end, the company tries to meet producers at festivals and workshops throughout Europe and find mutually interesting projects. Zodiak Belgium is already collaborating with other international companies, including German producers, on TV productions.

Such cross-border collaborations are essential, particularly in view of growing competition from overseas, Bierset says. “I am sure in Europe it will strengthen all of us, especially since the industry is in constant change with players like Netflix and Amazon.”


More Film

  • Judi Dench

    ‘Blithe Spirit’ With Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher Scores International Sales

    Filming has started on “Blithe Spirit,” an adaptation of Noel Coward’s classic comedy about love that just won’t die. Judi Dench, Isla Fisher and Dan Stevens are among the cast in the picture, which is helmed by Edward Hall (“Downton Abbey”). Protagonist has closed a raft of pre-sales on the project, which was previously adapted [...]

  • Edward Cheng, Tencent Pictures CEO

    Tencent Pictures Line-Up Mixes Hollywood Content and China Propaganda

    A slate of Chinese propaganda films rubs shoulders with high-profile Hollywood movies on Tencent Pictures upcoming line-up.  The firm confirmed its investment in U.S. projects including: TriStar Pictures’ “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a film about beloved TV host Mr. Rogers, starring Tom Hanks; “Monster Hunter,” Paul W.S. Anderson’s next film adaptation of a [...]

  • Night scenery of the Bund in

    Shanghai: Festivals Grapple With How to Stay Relevant in the Digital Era

    Festival organizers from around the world on Tuesday discussed the challenges of remaining relevant in a digital era at a Shanghai International Film Festival forum. The Festival do Rio’s executive director Ilda Santiago noted that online platforms are now an unavoidable part of the film business and creative process, and that “of course not all [...]

  • Kiernan Shipka and Ross LynchMTV Movie

    MTV Movie & TV Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    Many of the biggest stars in movies and television — including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kiernan Shipka, Sandra Bullock, Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson — came together to present and receive honors at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi. And while non-attendees are able to enjoy [...]

  • Johnny BananasMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    'The Challenge' Veteran Crashes MTV Awards Acceptance Speech; Cut From Broadcast

    Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio pulled a Kanye West at Saturday’s taping of the MTV Movie & TV awards when “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” won over “The Challenge” in the Reality Royalty category. However, viewers didn’t get to see it. Producers of the show cut out Devenanzio’s speech from Monday’s airing, after the reality star took [...]

  • Zachary LeviMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    MTV Movie & TV Awards Winners: The Complete List

    The MTV Movie & TV Awards returned to television Monday, with host Zachary Levi and a number of pop culture favorites. Dominating this year’s nominations with four apiece were front runners “Avengers: Endgame,” which took home the evening’s best movie award, and “Game of Thrones,” which won best show. The Oscar-nominated documentary “RBG” also scored [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content