Among the four films recently handed about $1.7 million each by The German-French Film Funding Commission are a couple that include fairly big names. (As an aside, how freaking awesome is it that the rest of the world has programs by which government money goes to funding film production? And why don't we do this? Or do we, and I'm just missing it?) The first, entitled Capri 1934, will star German actress Julia Jentsch, best known in this country for her blindingly powerful performance in the title role of Sophie Scholl - The Last Days. The film, which will be shot in English, is based on a novel by Italian writer Alberto Moravia, whose works were the basis for both The Conformist and Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt, and will be directed by Benoit Jacquot. (I'd tell you more about the story, but the book doesn't seem to be in print in English, at least not here or in the UK.)

The second project featuring a familiar name is La Chambre d'ami, a psychological thriller set on the northern coast of France. The film will star
Jérémie Renier (who recently gained international attention for his starring role in festival/arthouse hit L'Enfant) and the lovely Fanny Ardant under the direction of Christian de Chalonge.