Following the recent cash infusion from Hahn’s 25.1% sell-off to leading German feature distributor Constantin Film, founder Gerhard Hahn is looking to dive into a new slate of higher-budget features and series.
Leading the pack is The Gnarfs, a 52 x 11-minute spin-off from the popular on-line game of the same name created by Germany’s Phenomedia. The animated series takes the lunk-headed creatures from their website and adds a pack of discarded robot dogs that believe it’s their mission to teach the barbarians a few manners. Budgeted at US$5.5 million, the series is slated for a December 2001 delivery, with additional Gnarfs-based games due out next June for PC and PlayStation platforms. Hahn Film is currently looking for presales in Germany and worldwide.
The co-production with Phenomedia also spawned a joint venture last June called Daywalker Studios. The Berlin-based start-up will specialize in the development and merchandising of video game, Internet, film and TV concepts.
Other TV projects in the works at Hahn include Altair, a 26 x 24-minute series budgeted at US$6.5 million, and The Little School of Vampires, a 52 x 11-minute series based on a children’s book series and budgeted at about US$6 million. Altair is being co-produced with Berlin Animation Film and distributed by Netherlands-based Greenlight International and Magus Entertainment for delivery in February 2002. Vampires is still looking for partners with a tentative February 2002 delivery.
Feature-wise, Hahn is embarking on several big-buck projects, including Abrafaxe, SimsalaGrimm and a Tabaluga feature.
The Abrafaxe-Under the Black Flag is the first film based on the popular German comic series, which has appeared in the monthly Mosaik mag since 1976. The cel- and 3-D animated movie immerses three time-traveling kids in a Caribbean pirate adventure where
they meet Blackbeard and the beautiful outlaw leader Anne Bonny. Co-produced with Germany’s Abrafaxe Trickfilm and Universal Pictures, the 80-minute film is budgeted at US$7 million and is slated for German release in January 2001. Hahn is still seeking an international distributor.
Building on the success of its SimsalaGrimm TV series, Hahn has set aside about US$18 million for an 80-minute animated feature due out February 2002. Co-produced with Berlin Animation Film, SimsalaGrimm-Lisa and the Wizard delves into the rich treasure-trove of the Brothers Grimm, source of such fairy tales as Cinderella and Snow White, for its material. The film will be distributed by Greenlight International.
A Tabaluga feature currently in early development with EM.TV & Merchandising and Constantin Film wraps up the current production slate, but there’s lots more in the works. According to Hahn, four TV series and one feature film will be delivered every year from now on.