The Copenhagen Film Fund has made its first investment in a documentary.
The Fund has backed Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s animated documentary Flee with just over €200,000.
The story follows 11-year-old Amin, who is forced to flee Afghanistan and sees his family scattered across Europe. He arrives in Denmark on his own after five years of fleeing - and has never told the real story about how he arrived to the country until now.
“It’s a powerful story, and a story with so many layers. It’s exciting for us to step on board for this one. It’s not a typical documentary… It’s storytelling in a way that’s compelling to the audience,” Copenhagen Film Fund CEO Thomas Gammeltoft told Screen.
Monica Hellström produces for Final Cut For Real, the company behind The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence, alongside Charlotte De La Gournerie for Sun Creature Studio. Philippa Kowarsky’s CinePhil handles sales.
The director said, “In order to come to terms with his past, [Amin] has decided to open up and tell me the story about his dramatic escape for the first time ever. A story about how he had his existence pulled up by the roots and simultaneously had to wrestle with his emerging sexuality. “
In addition to animated sequences of his memories, the film also includes live-action archive footage, and reflections on Amin’s life today as a workaholic with a PhD.
“For us it’s the perfect match because they can do some animation in our region,” Gammeltoft added. The film is in production now for delivery in early 2020.
Gammeltoft said the fund would like to invest in other documentaries when the circumstances are right, including possible funding for a festival prize. “We want to look wisely and see how we can make a difference,” he said.
Rasmussen’s past film’s include Searching For Bill and What He Did. Hellstrom’s most recent film is IDFA award-winner The Distant Barking of Dogs.
Guillaume Dousse of Sun Creative Studio will be in charge of the art direction and animation, and will lead the animation teams in Denmark and France.
Eskil Vogt (Blind, Oslo, August 31st) will serve as script consultant.
The Copenhagen Film Fund was established in 2013 and has backed films including the forthcoming The House That Jack Built by Lars von Trier and Secrets From The Russian Tea Room by Lone Scherfig; The Danish Girl; The King’s Choice and Thelma; and TV shows including The Bridge, Rita, Greyzone and Wallander.
Flee will also be part of the work-in-progress presentation Annecy Goes To Cannes on May 11.