David Wnendt’s The Sunlit Night due to commence filming in Norway
by Davide Abbatescianni
- This American-German-Norwegian co-production is based on Rebecca Dinerstein’s ground-breaking debut novel
A stellar cast led by Alex Sharp and Jenny Slate is all set to bring to life The Sunlit Night, an adaptation of Rebecca Dinerstein’s successful first novel of the same name, published by Bloomsbury in 2015. The project is being directed by 41-year-old German filmmaker David Wnendt, best known for his previous works Wetlands [+see also:
interview: David Wnendt
film profile] (duking it out for the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival in 2014) and Look Who's Back [+see also:
film profile] (nominated for Best Comedy at the European Film Awards in 2016). Wnendt began his directorial career with the film Hanging On, released in 2000 and produced by his film school, Prague's FAMU.
The plot, adapted by the writer herself for the big screen, follows the story of a bizarre pair - namely American painter and art student, Frances (Jenny Slate), and émigré Yasha (Alex Sharp) - who meet in the far-north of Norway. Frances is there to kick off her career while Yasha has come to bury his father in the land of the Vikings. At the northernmost pole of the planet, not too far from the Arctic Circle, they will rid themselves of their past, as well as discovering the future which lies ahead of them and a family they never knew they had.
Joining Slate and Sharp in the cast are other well-known American actors such as former X-Files star Gillian Anderson, actor and comedian Zach Galifianakis (recently seen in Tulip Fever) and actress and singer Jessica Hecht (Write When You Get Work). Members of the crew, meanwhile, include Andreas Wodraschke (Original Bliss [+see also:
interview: Sven Taddicken
film profile], Look Who’s Back [+see also:
film profile]) in charge of film editing, and Kristine Wilhelmsen (Borderliner, Pyromaniac [+see also:
interview: Erik Skjoldbjærg
film profile]) who will take on production design.
Principal photography kicked off on 30 April in New York City, while filming in Norway is set to start this summer, with Wnendt having received a one-off contribution of 2 million Norwegian kroner (€211,000) towards the film’s production from the Norwegian Film Institute in one of its latest funding rounds for international co-productions.
The Sunlit Night is produced by Fabian Gasmia for Hamburg-based firm Detailfilm and Ruben Thorkildsen for Norwegian outfit Ape&Bjørn, in co-operation with American producers Michael B. Clark, Alex Turtletaub and one of the lead actors, Jenny Slate. British distribution company Mister Smith Entertainment launched international sales of the film in May, at the Cannes Film Festival, and its world premiere is scheduled for 18 January 2019.
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