Jamila Wenske and Sol Bondy’s Berlin-based One Two Films, co-producer of this year’s EFM buzz title “Persian Lessons,” has scored another early winner with comedy-drama “Franky Five Star.”
The project, from writer-director Birgit Möller, won the Junior Entertainment Talent Slate (JETS) pitching competition at the Berlin Film Festival on Tuesday, securing it industry support from a broad range of international participants.
“Franky Five Star” stars Jella Haase, who shot to fame in the “Fack ju Göhte” franchise, as a young woman dealing with her often meddling multiple personalities as she navigates a blossoming romance.
The JETS initiative, organized by William Peschek’s German-U.K. group WEP Films, unites up-and-coming filmmakers and their feature film projects with producers, sales agents, financing companies and distributors from Germany, Canada, Ireland, Britain, Finland, Norway and the U.S.
This year the 13-member JETS jury, which included Sophie Green of Bankside Films; Antonio Exacoustos of Arri Media Intl.; Patrick Ewald of Epic Pictures; and Inge Tenvik of Norway’s Filminvest, selected six winners from 22 submitted projects, among them “Franky Five Star” for Germany.
The JETS award certifies that Möller’s film “has a high marketability and will receive industry support for its development/realization.”
One Two Films is co-producing the project with Jussi Rantamäki and Emilia Haukka of Finnish shingle Aamu Film Company, with whom they collaborated on Juho Kuosmanen’s “The Happiest Day of Olli Mäki.” Finnish broadcaster Yle has also boarded the project, which is backed by the Finnish Film Foundation as well as ZDF and Nordmedia in Germany. One Two Films is seeking a third co-producer, ideally from France.
Budgeted at €2.8 million ($3.1 million), the pic is set to shoot later this year.
Wenske and Bondy last year partnered with Murad Osmann and Ilya Stewart’s Moscow-based Hype Film on Vadim Perelman’s “Persian Lessons,” which has seen a flurry of sales for Memento Films in Berlin.
They also have a number of other projects heading into production this year, including:
• “Hello My Friend,” from director Bettina Blümner (“Pool of Princesses”), about three German students on a romantic and sexually charged vacation in Cuba. The pic stars Leonard Scheicher (“Das Boot”), Victoria Schulz and Hanna Hilsdorf (“In the Fade”).
• “The Night Outside,” Elan Gamaker’s supernatural drama set in South Africa’s Apartheid era, which has secured €50,000 ($56,380) from the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund.
• Tom Shoval’s “Shake Your Cares Away,” a German-Israeli-French co-production, about a wealthy heiress on a quixotic mission to conquer poverty.
One Two Films is next re-teaming with Profile Pictures in Denmark on an as yet untitled new feature film project from Iranian-Swedish helmer Ali Abbasi (“Border”). The companies co-produced buzzed-up Grímur Hákonarson’s “The County,” which is set for release this year.