Camilla Strom Henriksen’s Norwegian drama Phoenix, which world premiered at Toronto 2018, has sold to Verve Pictures for the UK and Njutafilms for Sweden.
Michael Werner, CEO at Eyewell, which handles international sales, closed the deal with Colin Burch at Verve, which plans an autumn theatrical release. Eyewell has deals under negotiation with several other territories. The film screens at EFM today at 1445.
Swedish co-producer Annika Hellstrom on Cinenic Film did the deal with Njutafilms, which plans a summer release. Euforia released in Norway in October 2018 to a strong reception.
The $2m (17m NOK) film has backing from the Norwegian Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, TV2, Seymour and Olso post-production house Shortcut Oslo.
David Yates (of Harry Potter fame) executive produces, the producer is Gudny Hummelvoll of Hummelfilm.
Phoenix is about two kids having to grow up too soon because their mother is mentally ill; their father’s visit provides a temporary respite. Yet it’s not a kitchen-sink drama, there are elements of fantasy as seen especially from the daughter’s point of view.
“It’s a film that people will be talking about,” said Werner.
Henriksen, who makes her feature directorial debut, told Screen, “It’s been my experience with audiences in Norway and around the world that many people have a similar experience of feeling abandoned as children. That’s something that strikes people and stays with them.”
The cast features Maria Bonnevie, Ylva Thedin Bjørkaas, Sverrir Gudnason, and Casper Falck-Løvås.
Henriksen will be busy this spring directing two episodes of the third season of Norwegian TV hit Occupied. She also writes for the show.