Two-time Palm d’Or winner to direct in Denmark for first time in more than 30 years.

After almost 35 years, Palm d’Or-winning director Bille August will return to Denmark to direct The Passion of Marie (Balladen om Marie), about the relationship between famous Danish painters Marie Triepcke and Peder Severin Krøyer in 1889-1905.

August has not made a Danish film since Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren/1987), which scooped the top prize in Cannes in 1987. His Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997), starring Julia Ormond, was partly shot in Copenhagen, but was classified as a US production.

When painter Krøyer met Triepcke at an artists’ café in Copenhagen 1888 he was overwhelmed by her beauty. After she sat as a model for him, a whirlwind romance ensued and they married in 1889. However, his mental instability was difficult for her to cope with, and she left him for Swedish composer Hugo Alfvén.

Produced by Signe Leick Jensen and Karin Trolle, for SF Film Production, with support from, AO, the Danish Film Institute, Peter Asmussen’s original screenplay will star Søren Sætter-Lassen will star as Krøyer and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (of Danish television series, Borgen, fame) as Triepcke.

Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason plays Alfvén in a cast also including Tommy Kenter and Lene Maria Christensen.

SF Film, a subsidiary of Swedish major Svensk Filmindustri, will release the film in August 2012.