Denmark's main public funding body, the Danish Film Institute (DFI), is moving towards commercially-driven fare in its latest funding round by awarding $1.89m (DKr15m) to three mainstream, family-oriented films.
Danish national broadcaster TV2 is also co-financing the projects. "We need films which can draw a lot of people to create a solid foundation for Danish film," commented the DFI's outgoing area manager for production and development, Thomas Stenderup. "It's also very positive that TV2 is co-financing all the films, because we need support from the TV stations if we are to reach the 25 films a year we aim for."
The three films, which each received $630,000 (DKr5m), are Anja Og Viktor, to be produced by Regner Grasten Filmproduktion, Thura Film's The Jewel Of The Desert 2 and My Sister's Children from Moonlight Filmproduction. The two first are sequels and the latter a modern remake of an old series of features.
Anja Og Viktor is the first to go into production. The film is a follow-up to Love At First Hiccough, a box-office hit based on a local bestseller, which racked up more than 500,000 admissions in 1999. The romantic comedy, written by Soren Frellesen, will feature the same cast, but directing duties are passed on to feature debutante Charlotte Sachs Bostrup. The film shoots in March-April on location in Copenhagen on a $1.64m (DKr13m) budget.
The other sequel, The Jewel Of The Desert 2: The Secret Will, is being financed even though the first film was only released last Friday. Cast and crew are identical the second time around, with Arne Siemsen scripting and Thomas Borch Nielsen directing. Production is scheduled for May to July. The first Jewel only managed 11,466 admissions from 61 prints over the weekend, but it was a weekend when the whole of Denmark was snowed in.
My Sister's Children is based on a series of four films about an child psychologist who is put to the test when asked to take care of his sister's children. Lars Kolvig and Michael Obel's Moonlight Filmproduction will produce in association with Sandrew Metronome. Actor-director Tomas Villum Jensen (Love At First Hiccough) will direct from a script by Michael Asmussen and Soren Frellesen. The cast has yet to be confirmed, but the film shoots on a $1.51m (DKr12m) budget from May to July.