Aaberge will move out of Nordisk's Nydalen headquarters outside Oslo in favour of Filmparken at Jar, aka Jollywood, where he once ran his own Yellow Cottage. He will own a minor share of the new company which will be operative as of Apr 1 and otherwise controlled by Nordisk Film Norway.
'In Norway Nordisk Film's local production is generally associated with family features, such as the Olsen Gang Jr franchise, which have a huge box office potential,' Aaberge explained. 'Neo Film will primarily realise smaller projects, still mainstream-oriented, for the more critical audience.
'While Nordisk Film will keep up the volume and still turn out the blockbusters, we hope to enrichen the cinema repertoire by more films in the vein Nordisk has also produced, but which are generally overlooked, such as An Enemy of the People (En folkefjende).'
Aaberge's first project for Neo Film will be The Model (Modellen), an approximately $3m (Euros 2m) screen adaption of Lars Saabye Christensen's 2005 novel, which will become stage and TV director Per Olav Sørensen's feature debut. Principal photography is scheduled for next autumn.
Following the split from Columbia Tristar-Sony Pictures Releasing International on Jan 1, Nordisk has increasingly focused on local Scandinavian product, acquired either through co-productions or out-put deals, co-ordinated from the Copenhagen main office.
In Norway the company recently bought a stake in Maipo Film- & TV-produksjon, and is otherwise releasing features from, among others, 4 1/2 Productions, Fante Film and You Are Here. Last year total business for Nordisk Film Norway, including production, distribution, exhibition, Playstation sales etc. reached $131.6m (Euros 89.7m).