Kusturica and Fatih Akin to produce 1.5 million euro Mamarosh


    The €1.5 million German-Serbian-Hungarian production Mamarosh has set a shooting date of March 2008 after Eurimages (www.coe.int/eurimages), a Film Fund of the Council of Europe, agreed to extend the validity of its €280,000 grant.

    "The Eurimages grant was to expire this autumn, but it was already extended once. Without the Eurimages' new decision in favour of the production, Mamarosh would have collapsed," Hungarian co-producer Jozsef Berger of Mythberg Films (www.mythbergfilms.hu) explained to FNE. Other grants given elsewhere also had to be extended.

    The German partners have put up €820,000 for the film, with Golden Bear-winner Fatih Akin's Hamburg-based company, Corazón International (www.corazon-int.de), being delegated to the production. German broadcaster NDR (www.ndr.de), Arte Deutschland (http://www.arte.tv/de/70.html), the Hamburg Film Fund (http://ffhh.lbhh.de/) and the Berlin Film Fund all have a stake in the film.

    Serbian Paprikafilm added €200,000 to the budget, and prominent French sales agent Wild Bunch (www.wildbunch.biz), which has been attached to the project since 2004, is providing a €150,000 minimum guarantee. The Hungarian participation consists of a €170,000 grant from Hungary's Motion Picture Fund (www.mmk.hu) and €150,000 worth of tax rebate under Hungary's film law.

    Emir Kusturica, who was involved in the preparation of the project, receives executive producer credit.

    Mamarosh originally was set to roll in late September, but cash flow problems at the Serbian Ministry of Culture (www.kultura.sr.gov.yu/eng/index.htm) forced the producers to postpone the Belgrade-bound principal photography. The Ministry has pledged €200,000 to cover most expenses for the Serbian part of the shooting, but the money will be available only next spring.

    Mamarosh, which is a blend of a black comedy and a road movie, tells the story of a middle-aged man who lives with his mother in Belgrade when the bombing of the city prompts them to leave their home country and pursue the American dream.

    After shooting winds up in Belgrade, the crew will relocate to Hamburg, Budapest and New York City. The film's title refers to the kind of man who can't live without his mother.