U – July 22 spearheads TrustNordisk’s Berlinale slate
by Vassilis Economou
- The Danish firm is aiming high at Berlin, promoting Lars von Trier, Paprika Steen and Bille August, plus two of its films are getting public screenings and three are in the market
Danish international sales agent TrustNordisk is making its way to Berlin this week with a bulging line-up that covers the 68th Berlin International Film Festival (15-25 February) as well as the European Film Market (15-23 February), including, among others, Erik Poppe and Pernille Fischer Christensen’s latest films, plus Lars von Trier, Paprika Steen and Bille August in pre-sales.
Starting with the Official Competition, one year after his major commercial hit The King’s Choice [+see also:
interview: Erik Poppe
film profile], which was featured in Panorama, Norwegian director Erik Poppe returns to Berlin for the third time with U – July 22 [+see also:
interview: Erik Poppe
film profile]. The film is the first fictional approach to the political terrorist attack that took place on 22 July 2011, when an armed, right-wing extremist opened fire on 500 youths at a political summer camp on the island of Utøya, outside Oslo. Following 18-year-old Kaja, the story, which is based on survivors’ testimonies, depicts all the events of that day.
In the Special Gala section, Pernille Fischer Christensen will present her biopic of acclaimed Swedish children’s author Astrid Lindgren in Becoming Astrid [+see also:
interview: Alba August
interview: Pernille Fischer Christensen
film profile]. The film follows young Lindgren (Alba August) and the events that shaped her personality – especially a near-miraculous event that affected her profoundly. The movie also follows the obstacles that Lindgren had to overcome to become a storyteller and depicts society’s religious and conservative norms that she had to break to follow her destiny.
At the EFM, TrustNordisk will be rocking up with the audience-pleasing real-time thriller The Guilty [+see also:
film profile] by debutant Gustav Möller, which has already taken part in Sundance and Rotterdam, and the firm has high hopes for a wider release, as many territories have already secured the rights. Also, two local Norwegian hits have made it onto the market’s line-up: Mikkel Brænne Sandemose’s fantasy-adventure The Ash Lad: In the Hall of the Mountain King [+see also:
interview: Eili Harboe
film profile], which was the most successful Norwegian film of 2017 (see the news), and Harald Zwart’s World War II drama 12th Man [+see also:
interview: Harald Zwart
film profile], which is aiming to perform just as well this year.
In pre-sales, The House That Jack Built by Lars von Trier is probably still the jewel in TrustNordisk’s crown, although most territories have already been covered. The latest film by award-winning Danish actress-director Paprika Steen, entitled That Time of Year, will be introduced for the first time in a pre-sales slot. It is a dramedy set during a family gathering that takes place around Christmas Eve (see the news).
The rest of the pre-sales drives include a period drama by Michael Noer, which has elements of a dark moral western and bears the working title A Better Life (see the news); the Norwegian figure-skating biopic Sonja – The White Swan by Anne Sewitsky (see the news); the disaster movie The Quake by John Andreas Andersen (see the news); and the Swedish love story Swoon, directed by Bridge/Bron duo Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein (see the news).
Finally, TrustNordisk is promoting three TV series: Bille August’s period drama A Fortunate Man, based on the novel Lucky Per by Nobel Prize-winning author Henrik Pontoppidan; the thriller-drama Twin by Kristoffer Metcalfe and Erika Calmeyer; and the new Zentropa family adventure, Finding Home by Christian E Christiansen.
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