The Norwegian Film Fund is to back Maipo Film's follow-up to last year's local box office phenomenon Elling.

The new film, Mother's Elling is a prequel, dealing with the title character's adventures at a Spanish holiday resort with his elderly mother. As with the first film, the script is by Axel Hellestenius, based on one of Ingvar Ambjornsen's best-selling novels.

The fund will put up half of the film's $1.9m budget. Mother's Elling will reunite the same production team and talent, with the exception of director Petter Naess, who declined to make a follow-up, and actor Sven Nordin, whose character has not yet met Elling in the prequel. Universal Pictures Norway will release the film in December 2003.

Eva Isaksen (pictured), best known for thrillers such as Death At Oslo Central, The Perfect Murder and Cellofan will direct. Isaksen has recently received widespread acclaim for several drama series broadcast on Norwegian television.

The $1.6m Elling became one of the most successful Norwegian films ever, both at home and abroad. It attracted over 700.000 admissions in Norway. An Academy Award nomination created further exposure for Elling, which subsequently became a hit in territories such as Germany, Switzerland and Sweden.

Meanwhile, three other new films have received Norwegian public funding. One Love, executive produced by Nik Powell (pictured), is a $2.6m co-production between Norway's Exposed Film, Euromax and the UK's One Love Limited to be shot in Jamaica.

One of Bob Marley's many sons, Ky-Mani Marley will star in the Romeo and Juliet-like drama about a Rastafarian who falls in love with a Christian girl. Music video-director Don Letts (Dancehall Queen) will co-direct with Rick Elgood. Norway's BV Film will release the film in October 2003.

Production outfit Dinamo Story was granted $1.2m towards the $1.9m budget for children's film Fia And The Clowns written and directed by Elsa Kvamme, about an eight year old girl who sees her family problems from a new angle when she meets a magician. Distributor SF Norge will release the film in September 2003.

Finally, the fund awarded $134,000 to the $1.9m co-production between Sweden's Filmhaus Lagno and Norway's Paradox Produksjon, Misa Mi - about a ten-year old who decides to save a family of wolves from being shot. Linus Torell will direct the film which will be released in February 2003 by Oro Film.