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64 years and an Oscar later, the Kon-Tiki sails again


64 years and an Oscar later, the Kon-Tiki sails again

Sixty-four years after Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and five fellow scientists left South America for the Polynesian Islands, Kon-Tiki – their wooden raft – sets sail again. This week, Denmark’s Nordisk Film and the UK’s Recorded Picture Company started principal photography on the NOK 92 million (€17.7m) feature about their journey at locations in Lillehammer, Norway.

After their local blockbuster Max Manus [+see also:
film profile
, Norwegian directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning will realise the project on which Heyerdahl himself worked till his death in 2002. His 1950 documentary of the voyage became Norway’s only feature-length film to win an Oscar so far.

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Norwegian actress Agnes Kittelsen (Happy, Happy [+see also:
film profile
) has joined the local cast of Sverre Valheim, Odd-Magnus Wiliamson, Tobias Santelmann, Anders Baasmi Christiansen, Jakob Oftebro and Swedish actor Gustaf Skarsgård (who plays the only Swedish member of the Kon-Tiki crew).

Scripted by Peter Skavlan (Sofie’s World), Kon-Tiki is produced by Aage Aaberge for Nordisk and UK producer Jeremy Thomas, with support from, among others, the Norwegian Film Institute and Eurimages. Nordisk holds Scandinavian rights, while UK’s HanWay Films handles international sales.

After Lillehammer, shooting will continue at Swedish regional film centre Film i Väst in Göteborg, in a large water tank on Malta, in Bulgarian studios (in a replica of a New York street), before it wraps in Thailand. Current travel lasts longer than the original 101-day trip: the premiere is set for September 2012.

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