Recent years' lackof international and domestic success for Nordic films shot in English, haven'tdeterred filmmakers across the region from trying. Although Norwegianproduction outfit, Dinamo Story, dismantled its feature film department aftermaking Hans Petter Moland's A BeautifulCountry earlier this year, the film's two local producers, Petter Borgliand Thomas Backstroem, are going ahead with Liv Ullmann's English-languageadaptation of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll'sHouse.
The Euros 8.2mproject is now set for a June 2005 shoot on location in Norway with KateWinslet in talks to take on Nora. Other cast members include Annette Bening,John Cusack and Stellan Skarsgaard. Swedish producer Bertil Ohlsson and theUK's Julia Palau and Matthew Payne (who all collaborated on
In Sweden the UKborn writer-director Colin Nutley is putting final touches on his first featurefilm in his own language after working in Swedish since the mid 80's. Producedin collaboration between Nutley's Sweetwater outfit, Svensk Filmindustri andthe UK's AKA Pictures, The Queen OfSheba's Pearls is set in post-war England of the 1950s and centres on a16-year-old boy following the death of his mother in the War. Nutley previouslymade such Swedish box-office hits as HouseOf Angels (1992) and the Oscar-nominated Under The Sun (1998), so his new magical realist drama has a lot tolive up to.
Generally one ofthe major problems with making English-language films in the Nordic region hasbeen that domestic audiences don't consider them local even if they are made bytheir favourite local filmmakers. Nutley has tried to counter this by castingpopular Swedish actors like Helena Bergstroem and Rolf Lassgaard in the film.
In Iceland theintroduction of the 12% refund tax scheme set up for foreign productions on theisland has not only attracted international productions like
Canada-based butIcelandic-born Sturla Gunnarsson (RareBirds) is also shooting his $12m Beowulf& Grendel, which is a co-production Fridrik Thor Fridriksson'sIcelandic Film Corporation, Canada's The Film Works and Eurasia Motion Picturesand the UK's Spice Factory. The horror adventure is based on the classicmedieval Anglosaxon poem, and star Gerard Butler, Sarah Polley, StellanSkarsgaard. Veteran producer-director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson is alsopreparing the English-language $25m period drama A Gathering Of Foes, which shoots from March 2005.
OtherEnglish-language films in post-production around the region include Lars vonTrier's Manderlay, ThomasVinterberg's Dear Wendy, JackErsgaard's Rancid and Vibeke Muasya's The Take-Away Bride.
For full Nordic production listings, click HERE