The Norwegian Film Institute has announced a sizable $2.2m production award for upcoming troll movie The Ash Lad in the Hall of the Mountain King.

The $9m film, directed by Mikkel Brænne Sandemose (Ragnarok, Cold Prey 3), features in this year’s Berlinale co-production market and is being sold by TrustNordisk.

Made through Maipo Film AS, it is scripted by Aleksander Kirkwood Brown and Espen Enger, and is produced by Synnøve Hørsdal and Åshild Ramborg.

The Ash Lad in the Hall of the Mountain King is a fantasy film based on Asbjørnsen and Moe’s classic fairy tales.

The action takes place in 19th century Norway. It centres on 17-year-old Espen Askeladd, the son of a poor farmer family, who embarks on a dangerous journey to save the princess of the kingdom, who has been kidnapped by The Mountain King, a fearsome troll believed to be invincible.

A second film, Carpenter Andersen Meets Santa Claus, based on Alf Prøysen’s 1959 book, has also received substantial backing from the Norwegian Film Institute.

Nearly $800,000 is being pumped into the project, produced by Fantefilm Fiksjon AS and to be directed by Terje Rangnes.

The script is written by John Kåre Raake based on Alf Prøysen’s book, and the film is produced by Are Heidenstrøm and Martin Sundland.

Both films have been backed through the Norwegian Film Institute’s “Market space support” scheme, which aims to invest in films judged by an industry panel to have box office appeal.

The same scheme was also used to support such high-profile films as Kon-Tiki and Headhunters. Through the scheme, the Institute provides up to 50% of the films’ budgets.

Carpenter Anderssen Meets Santa Claus tells the story of Carpenter Andersen who does everything in his power to make a real Christmas for his family.

Dressed in a Santa Claus costume, Carpenter Andersen slips on the icy road, and after a toboggan ride, he ends up crashing into the real Santa Claus. They decide to make a switch: “I go to your children and you go to mine.”

Santa Claus’s family have never been visited by a real carpenter, and the Andersen family have never before been visited by the real Santa Claus.