Asger Leth (Man on a Ledge) will direct a new film project, Move On, backed by Deutsche Telekom (DT) and encouraging audience participation in the filmmaking process.
Mads Mikkelsen, here in Cannes with The Hunt, is confirmed to star in the road movie, which is written by acclaimed UK screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh (Control).
The project will shoot in eight different European countries during a hectic 30-day shoot and will involve the participation of audiences and film fans from 11 countries (Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands and Slovakia).
Audiences can get involved in specific areas of the collaborative production, from casting through to choosing locations or props.
The film will be launched in September, for quite a speedy finish after a summer shoot.
“I thought the project was fascinating. I jumped in with a fresh mind,” Leth told Screen of the project, which is financed entirely by DT. “Their [DT’s] attitude was really refreshing. They said, ‘We’re not going to sit on you to tell you what you can and can’t do.’ There’s no pressure to show the product.”
Most of the storyline is under wraps for now, but Leth says “It’s about a man on a mysterious journey.”
He continues: “We want to create an iconic character and have fun with it.” The story starts with Mikkelsen’s character, a flawed hero, stepping off a boat in Rotterdam before going across Europe to deliver a mysterious silver suitcase. Leth does reveal that the character “might encounter a woman or two.”
Leth said he’s “intrigued by the idea” of getting audience participation on areas such as casting, character’s names, music and choosing locations. “Matt and I came up with this story and we’re creating a framework where there’s room for interaction…Instead of being on guard about the interaction, we’re excited about it.”
Still, he notes it’s not a “free for all,” with the audience participation limited to certain aspects.
The project will also be supported through digital, TV and social media campaigns.
Leth will shoot completely on location on the Arri Alexa — his documentary experience on films like Ghosts of Cite Soleil will be useful. “It will be shot in chronological order and the journey of the film crew will inform the project. If we want to get up at 4 am because we have an idea, we can.”
Each country will comprise one ‘episode’ that will average 5 to 8 minutes long. A combined longform version of the project will pull all those episodes together.
Leth also says that the story’s journey could continue, perhaps with a sequel project.
The director is waiting for a greenlight for three or four other films, including a political thriller set in the Middle East and a grittier fiction film, and there are several that could come out of his native Denmark.
More information about the Move On project can be found at move-on-film.com.