Danish major Nordisk Film and national broadcaster TV2 have formed a pact to produce feature films with an average budget of $1m (DKR8.5m). Titled 'Director's Cut' the project has four directors already attached - veterans Morten Arnfred and Birger Larsen, and newcomers Tomas Villum Jensen and Christoffer Boe, the latter fresh from the Danish Film School.
So far no scripts have been written, but director Ake Sandgren and scriptwriter Lars Kjeldgaard, who devised the project, claim that the first film will be released a year from now.
Despite similarities with the Dogme95 movement, 'Director's Cut' is not being promoted as a brand, but as a cost-efficient production process. "We don't like to call them low-budget films," says Kjeldgaard, "because these films will be written to their budget, and won't like so many other projects, start big only to be sliced down."
Financing of half the budgets are divided equally between Nordisk Film and TV2, who hope to get further funding from the Danish Film Institute, among others. "We want to be able to greenlight the projects from a synopsis stage, because that is the essence of the film," says Kjeldgaard. "We preach less is more, and by calling it 'Director's Cut' we indicate that the director has the final say, but also that we are cutting away the large crew, the big budgets, cut to the bone to the good story. That is what we have learned from the Dogme-films. We want to build a bridge between narrative and financial restraint." The average Danish feature is budgeted at around $1.4m (DKR12m), but some of the popular Dogme-films cost as little as $840,000 (DKR7m).