Lars von Trier will always be regarded as the exception to any rule, so while there is still some dispute over the Danish Film Institute's reluctance to back Thomas Vinterberg's It's All About Love with more than $357,000 (DKR3m) on the grounds of it being an English-language project, no one is likely to complain about the Institute's $951,000 backing of Denmark's most prominent director's new film Dogville, regardless of it's language.
"It's the most interesting project I have ever been presented," Vinca Wiedemann, the Institute's film consultant told Screen Daily, "even if it means that almost half my budget now goes to English-language projects."
Apart from a letter of intent for $951,000 (DKR8m), Wiedemann also put $155,000 (DKR1.3m) into the $297,000 (DKR2.5m) test sequence that Trier shot earlier this year to demonstrate the idea behind his new project and to test the HDTV equipment he wanted to use.
Using no exteriors the whole film will be shot on a soundstage at the Trollhattan studios in Sweden, where regional fund Film i Vast and Memfis Film will co-produce with Trier's Zentropa. Other co-producers include Norway's 41/2, Finland's Edith Film, Dutch What Else' and French Liberator2 and Slot Machine.
As reported earlier this year in Screen Daily the $9.5m drama is expected to shoot this autumn, but according to producer Vibeke Windeloev all depends the availability of certain actors. So far Trier regulars like Stellan Skarsgaard and Katrin Cartlidge (Breaking the Waves) are among the actors likely to star, and since Christmas it has been no secret that Nicole Kidman was the director's first choice for the lead. They are in talks, but nothing is signed yet. Zentropa's Trust Film Sales handles international sales.