Zentropa is also developing Unni Straume’s Faith.

Norwegian director Anita Killi, whose animated kidpic, Angry Men (Sinna mann) has scooped 14 international awards, is preparing her first feature, the $5m Prima Ballerina, to shoot for Zentropa International Norway.

Since last year when Lars von Trier-Peter Aalbæk Jensen set up their Norwegian production outfit, US-born, Danish director-producer Valerie Saunders has attached a string of local prominent filmmakers to develop new features, including Petter Næss, Jens Lien, Unni Straume and Morten Tyldum.

So far Killi, whose 20-minute Angry Man most recently won three prizes at Annecy, has mainly directed and produced animated children’s shorts for her own Trollfilm at the family farm in Dovre.

”I saw one of her shorts and was mesmerised – she has a distinct voice and a visual flair all of her own,” said Saunders, who will produce Prima Ballerina. Targeted at audiences between 5-11-years-old, the film follows a little girl from a small farm who – inspired by her mother – learns to follow her biggest and wildest dreams.

Also in development is Straume’s Faith, from an original screenplay by Polish scriptwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz, best known for his collaboration with Polish director Krysztof Kieslowski on Dekalog and Three Colors (Trois couleurs).

The story of a 20-year-old girl who moves to Bergen in search of her biological father – and when she finds him, he denies fatherhood, yet their lives intertwine to disclose dark secrets of their past – will be Straume’s first film since Music for Weddings and Funerals (Musikk for bryllup og begravelser/2004). Saunders will produce.