The Norwegian Film Fund has greenlighted two new projects from Maipo Film, the outfit behind the local box office phenomenon Elling.

Bent, Frank & Susie is based on The Jealous Hairdresser a short story by Norway's number one best-selling author Lars Saabye Christensen. Annette Sjursen's directing debut tells the story of a man whose life is turned upside-down when he goes to a different hairdresser than usual. The $1.5 comedy was granted $1m from the Fund. Universal Pictures will release the film in March 2004.

The $1.8m coming-of-age drama Bea starring an all-girl main cast, received $1m from the Fund. Petter Næss (Elling) is directing and Nordisk Film will release the film in Feb 2004. Maipo Film's Swedish/Norwegian co-production with Filmlance International was also awarded $138.000 by the Swedish Film Institute earlier this week.

Jonny Vang (pictured) - the second feature film from Maipo Film will be screened in Berlin's Panorama sidebar. The comedy, which centres on the eponymous main character- a rural eccentric who inherits a farm - is the first feature film from commercials director Jens Lien. Jonny Vang will also be released by distributor Universal Pictures on 40 Norwegian screens on February 14th.

Maipo Film last year struck a first-look deal with Universal Pictures for the Scandinavian rights to the company's next four films, including Mother's Elling - the follow-up to Elling, the highest ranking domestic feature film of the last 25 years - which is still in production.