Ole Endresen’s comedy will be available online a week before its theatrical release.

Ole Endresen’s horseracing comedy Chasing Berlusconi (Jakten på Berlusconi) is to become the first film in Norway to be made available to audiences before its theatrical release.

The film will be available for 48 hours on Norwegian TV2’s VOD-service, Sumo, from Friday (Sept 5) ahead of its theatrical release on Sept 12.

While Premium VOD release (simultaneous with theatrical) is not unusual in international markets, it is the first time in Norway that a distributor has included TV screenings in the marketing campaign for an upcoming film.

“We have had good experiences organising previews of new films in the cinemas, and wanted to try the concept through other channels,” said managing director Vibeke Skistad, of Euforia Distribution.

“TV2’s exposure of Chasing Berlusconi is worth a lot to us – we are going to reach out far better than we usually do – and it will hopefully be relected in the cinema admissions. In a declining market it is often useful to rethink traditional marketing methods.”

Recently, TV2 Sumo became the first Norwegian TV channel to sign a contract with Apple TV making its programmes accessible to Apple subscribers.

“We want to deliver fresh and exclusive content to our users; it can hardly be fresher or more exclusive than the preview of Endresen’s comedy,” added Sumo chief Kristian Bruarøy.

Starring Edward Schultheiss, Atle Antonsen and Henriette Steenstrup, Chasing Berlusconi is the story of a chubby harness racer, who does not get the good horses anymore, so he is forced to embark on a life of crime to keep menacing creditors at bay. When a doping attempt fails, and the horse Berlusconi is kidnapped, he finds himself in serious trouble.