Nordisk buys mainstream European co-productions
by Annika Pham
01/06/2005 - Peter Philipsen, Head of Theatrical distribution and film acquisitions for Nordisk Film, returned from Cannes with a basket full of 36 films -bought for Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland- including three major European co-productions still in production or post-production.
Goya’s Ghosts just added to Hanway Films’ sales list in Cannes, is the third collaboration between director Milos Forman and producer Saul Zaens following the Oscar-winning films Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Forman has co-written the script with Philipp Kaufman's collaborator on The Unbearable Lightness of Being, French veteran scriptwriter Jean-Claude Carriere. In the film, set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, the Spanish Inquisition and the Napoleonic wars, painter Francisco Goya (played by Javier Bardem) faces a scandal involving his muse (Natalie Portman) who is labelled a heretic by a monk. Produced by Zaens with Kanzaman in Spain, the film will start shooting in September.
The Tiger And The Snow is Roberto Benigni’s ambitious new project set for release in Italy next October (01 Distribution). Benigni plays a poet desperately wooing the woman of his dreams (Nicoletta Braschi) until they suddenly find themselves in Iraq on the eve of war. The €30m film also stars Emilia Fox and Jean Reno. Nordisk Film said that they hoped the story, both touching and unique, would have the same impact as Life Is Beautiful.
Flyboys also starring French actor Jean Reno, is an action/adventure film about the first US fighter pilots known as the Lafayette Escadrille, who volunteered for the French military before the US entered the First World War. The epic film currently filming is a US/French co-production between Dean Devlin (Godzilla) and Mark Frydman (The Jacket).
Nordisk also added a new film by Swedish director Lasse Hallström, and a handful of US titles such as Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, Robert de Niro’s The Good Shepherd and the sequel to suspense hit The Grudge.