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PRODUCTION Denmark / Finland

Shooting is under way on Marie Grahtø’s thoroughly female debut, Teenage Jesus

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- The Danish talent hires an all-female cast for her psychotic realistic drama, starring Victoria Carmen Sonne, Lisa Carlehed, and Trine Dyrholm in lead roles

Shooting is under way on Marie Grahtø’s thoroughly female debut, Teenage Jesus
Leading actresses Victoria Carmen Sonne (left) and Lisa Carlehed (right), with filmmaker Marie Grahtø (centre) (© Christian Geisnæs)

Emerging Danish writer-director Marie Grahtø is currently shooting her debut feature drama, Teenage Jesus, comprising an all-female cast. Rising star Victoria Carmen Sonne, who shot to prominence following last year’s festival hit Winter Brothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hlynur Pálmason
film profile
]
and who surprised audiences with her role in the Sundance-premiered Holiday [+see also:
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]
, has clinched one of the main roles in the film. Appearing alongside her, also in lead roles are Lisa Carlehed (In Your Arms [+see also:
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interview: Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm
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]
), who is currently featuring in Netflix’s first Danish series, The Rain, and international star Trine Dyrholm (recently seen in Nico, 1988 [+see also:
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interview: Susanna Nicchiarelli
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]
and You Disappear [+see also:
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interview: Peter Schønau Fog
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]
).

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Best described as a “psychotic realistic” drama, Teenage Jesus follows two women on a collision course. The violent, intelligent and suicidal Jenny (Sonne), a patient at a psychiatric ward for young women, is being treated by the young perfectionist and psychologist, Viktoria (Carlehed). Through their intense and intimate relationship and conflict-ridden conversations, the two women will seek meaning and forgiveness in faith, sex and violence. Dyrholm, meanwhile, plays the domineering Dr. Klein, the department’s most experienced doctor.

The film is currently shooting at the former psychiatric hospital, Sankt Hans, in Roskilde, and the crew, as well as the cast, is also predominately female. Danish cinematographer Catherine Pattinama Coleman (The Return [+see also:
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]
) is behind the lens, Linda Man (3 Things [+see also:
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]
) is in charge of editing, and Josephine Farsø (Holiday) is heading up production design. Costume designers Charlotte Scheffmann Weber and Nina Grønlund are also on board, as are Jussi multi-award-winning Finnish make-up designer Salla Yli-Luopa and seasoned Finnish musician Pessi Levanto (The Midwife [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), who is composing the film score.

Written by Grahtø herself, Teenage Jesus is an extension of the director’s film-school graduation movie, the Robert-nominated short Teenland (2014), with Sonne again in the leading role, and was selected last year in Cannes’ Cinéfondation Atelier (read the news) as well as being presented at IFFR’s CineMart and Torino Film Lab Script & Pitch programme in 2016.

Teenage Jesus is a Danish-Finnish co-production by Amalie Lyngbo Quist and Julie Friis Walenciak for Beo Starling, with Mark Lwoff and Misha Jaari (Bufo Film). It has received support from the Danish Film Institute’s talent scheme, New Danish Screen, from the Finnish Film Foundation, and from the Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Its Danish theatrical release is set for Spring 2019, with no international sales outlet having been appointed as yet.

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