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WB gets into Germany via UFA.

HOLLYWOOD In another move by a Hollywood major to boost its commitment to localized production abroad, Warner Bros. has struck a long-term alliance with Germany's Ufa to co-produce and co-finance local-lingo series and TV movies for that market.

The move by the Warner Bros. Intl. TV Prod. unit is its first foray into foreign-lingo production.

It follows similar efforts in local-lingo TV production by Sony in Germany, Spain and Italy.

Through the alliance, WBITP and Ufa's year-old international film and TV production division will produce German-lingo TV series and TV movies specifically for the Teutonic territory.

In a structure similar to the traditional U.S. network system, these projects will be licensed to the commissioning German broadcaster for a set number of runs. Warners and Ufa will retain domestic second-cycle rights in Germany as well as international distribution rights, including the U.S.

Warners Bros. Intl. TV Distribution will handle the sales outside Germany.

WBITP senior VP Catherine Malatesta and WBIT prexy Jeffrey Schlesinger worked out the arrangement with Konstantin Thoeren and Wolf Bauer, coprexys of Ufa Intl. Film & TV Prod.

Bauer told Variety that the alliance builds upon the current development pact between the two parties that has already resulted in several jointly produced English-lingo programs.

"Local production has really been boosted in Germany in the last few years," Bauer says. "But no local broadcaster alone can afford to make high-end event programming." That's where the deal with Warners come in, he explains.

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Title Annotation:Warner Bros., Ufa International
Comment:WB gets into Germany via UFA.(Warner Bros., Ufa International)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 27, 1999
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