After Ibsen and bank looting,Skjoldbjærg serves up oil-rush thriller
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
21/10/2011 - Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjærg (pictured), who won a Best Director Amanda, Norway’s national film prizen for his latest feature, Nokas [trailer] will receive €400,000 Eurimages financing for Pioneer, a €5.2 million Norwegian-Swedish-German co-production scheduled for local release next August.
”A conspiracy thriller from the beginning of the Norwegian oil rush,” is how Skjoldbjærg describes the film which is scripted by Hans Gunnarsson, Kathinka Nicolaysen and Catherine Valen Zelner. The main character is a professional deep-sea diver who is obsessed with go 500 metres down in the Norwegian Sea; after one of his colleagues dies unexpectedly, he begins to investigate the oil companies and their relationship with the government – who pulls whose strings?
“The Eurimages support confirms the interest for Norwegian films abroad, and the internationaliation of the Norwegian film industry – within the last five years the fund has supported 10 Norwegian productions,” said senior advisor Nils Klevjer Aas, Eurimages representative for the Norwegian Film Institute. Pioneer will be produced by Christian Fredrik Martin, of Norway’s Friland, with Sweden’s Garagefilm International AB and Germany’s Pandora Filmproduktion.
Skjoldbjærg’s 1997 feature debut, Insomnia, was remade by UK director Christopher Nolan with Al Pacino and Robin Williams. After Prozac Nation (2001) and An Enemy of the People (2005), an adaption of Henrik Ibsen’s play, he filmed the award-winning Nokas, about the 2004 military-like operation of armed robbers who robbed a bank of a record €7.5 million. The film reached 250,000 admissions domestically.
The Council of Europe’s fund for co-production, distribution, exhibition and digitisation of European films, Eurimages has most recently chipped in for joint ventures with Norwegian directors including Kontiki (Espen Sandberg, Joachim Rønning), Comrades (Petter Næss), All That Matters Is Past (Sarah Johnsen), Babycall [trailer] (Pål Sletaune) and King of Devil's Island [trailer] (Marius Holst).