After his feature directorial debut Uno in 2004, Norwegian actor Aksel Hennie will return to acting as Gabriel, the angel, in the lead role of Danish director Jesper W Nielsen's Through a Glass, Darkly, which Norwegian production outfit 4 ½ Productions will produce with Denmark's Zentropa.

The Norwegian Film Fund, which today (Monday) allocated $5.1 million (Euros 3.8m) for four new features, reserved $1.8m (Eu1.4m) for the adaptation of Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder's 1994 novel. Set just before Christmas, the film follows 13-year-old Cecilie, who is confined to bed with a serious disease. One night she is visited by Ariel, who claims to an angel, and they agree to tell each other about the secrets of Heaven and Earth.

Turid Oversveen will produce Through a Glass, Darkly on a $3.5 million (Euros 2.6m) budget, and Nordisk has scheduled local release for October 2008.

Gaarder's worldwide bestseller, Sophie's World, has previously been filmed by Norwegian director Erik Gustavson, and Norwegian producer Axel Helgeland is currently preparing a screen version of his 2004 novel, The Orange Girl.

Grete Salomonsen has researched a dark chapter of Norway's history for The Children Wanderers, the story about young boys who were sent from home to work at provincial farms in early 20th century. Odd Hynnekleiv will produce for Penelope Film, and Nordisk plans an August 2009 release. The Norwegian Film Fund will cover $1.4m (Euros 1.1m) of the film's $5m (Euros 3.8m) budget.

A new production company, Fender Film received $600,000 (Euros 500,000) for Patrik Syversen's Wild Animals, a $1.4m (Euros 1m) horror movie about a group of young people exposed to life-threatening violence as they leave peaceful urban sorroundings for the wilderness. Former Paradox producer Torleif Hauge, who has set up Fender, will produce the film which Euforia Film distribution has slated for a January 2008 premiere.

The fund also chipped in $1.2m (Euros 900,000) for the $3.2m (Euros 2.4m) Fallen Angels, the second feature in SF Norge's Varg Veum project, which was delayed because Hennie pulled out to play Gabriel. Now directed by Morten Tyldum (Buddy) and produced by Peter Bose and Guttorm Petterson, the film will be launched in March 2008.