Skjoldbjærg starts oil-rush thriller Pioneer with international cast
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
18/09/2012 - Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjærg, whose latest feature, Nokas [trailer], won him a Best Director Amanda - Norway's national film prize - has assembled an international cast for his oil rush thriller Pioneer, currently shooting at Swedish regional film centre Film i Väst in Trollhättan.
Norwegian Headhunters [trailer]' Aksel Hennie (photo) plays the lead with US actors Wes Bentley (American Beauty, The Hunger Games) and Stephen Lang (Avatar), Australian actor Jonathan LaPaglia (Cold Case, NCIS) and Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman (Miss Bala).
Scripted by Hans Gunnarsson, Kathinka Nicolaysen and Cathrine Valen Zelner, Skjoldbjærg described his €5.2 million Norwegian-Swedish-German co-production as "a conspiracy thriller from the beginning of the Norwegian oil rush".
Hennie is a professional deep-sea diver who is obsessed with diving 500 metres 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 which strings?
Backed by the Norwegian and the Swedish film institutes and Eurimages - the European Council's co-production fund - Pioneer is produced by Christian Fredrik Martin, of Norway's Friland, with Sweden's Garagefilm International AB and Germany's Pandora Filmproduktion.
Skjoldbjærg's Insomnia (1997) was remade by UK director Christopher Nolan, with Al Pacino and Robin Williams. After Prozac Nation (2001) and An Enemy of the People (2005), he filmed Nokas, about a bank robbery, which reached 250,000 admissions domestically.