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Dennis Knudsen goes from haircuts and make-up to writing and directing Princess


- After almost 30 years in the film and television industry, Dennis Knudsen will make his first feature, produced by Zentropa Entertainments

Dennis Knudsen goes from haircuts and make-up to writing and directing Princess
New Danish writer-director Dennis Knudsen (right) with Peter Aalbæk Jensen, of Zentropa Entertainments

As a stylist, make-up artist, wig maker and hairdresser for almost 30 years, Dennis Knudsen has worked on films by such names as Lars von Trier, Susanne Bier, Per Fly and Thomas Vinterberg – and now he will become one of their colleagues, having written his first screenplay, Princess, which he will also direct.

“For many years, I have had this dream of one day making my own film, and the opportunity has come now. Of course I am nervous, but I am really looking forward to all these new challenges – and after all, I am a grown-up man of 53,” Knudsen explained. “The story is a reflection of the times we live in: watch me, watch me, watch me! I want, I demand, and I expect my life to become exactly as I require it! And the film shows an example of how frightening it can be when things do not go the way we thought they would.”

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Princess (working title) is the story of a young couple, Mie and August, who are looking forward to the birth of their first child, a girl. But the midwife has been inattentive – they get a boy instead – and Mie starts suffering from post-natal depression, which develops into psychosis. They send the boy to Thailand, where he has a sex-change operation. The film follows the first 17 years in the life of their child, Victoria, but when the truth suddenly comes to light, Mie has to admit what she had previously exposed her offspring to.

Knudsen has three times received the Danish Film Academy’s Robert Award for Best Make-up, including for Danish director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen’s The Boys from St Petri. This month (31 August), he will close the hairdressing salon he has run in Copenhagen for the last 15 years.

Princess will be staged by Danish producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen, of Zentropa Entertainments. Knudsen is currently preparing for his work on Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s upcoming film, Thelma [+see also:
film review
interview: Eili Harboe
interview: Joachim Trier
film profile
, which will start principal photography next month.

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