Grandma returns with her eight children, now in a musical comedy
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
17/09/2012 - Norwegian author of children's books Anne Cath Vestly was awarded the Nordic Council's Honorary Prize in 1994; when Norwegian director Espen Thorstenson filmed her Grandma and the Eight Children - from her Eight Children book series - in 1977, she herself played Grandma, and it became a Norwegian classic.
Four years after Vestly's death, Norwegian director Lisa Marie Gamlem has started principal photography for an updated version of the story, now from a script by Birgitte Braseth (Twigson), following Grandma who has secretly sneaked out from the old people's home to visit her family.
"I want to keep the spirit of the original classic, adding extra energy with the new musical packaging," said Gamlem, whose short Cold was in competition at Cannes 2011. She has also signed episodes of Lilyhammer, the Norwegian TV show starring Italian-American actor-musician Stevie Van Zandt, launched in the US, Canada and Latin America simultaneously with its local premiere.
Marit Opsahl Grefberg - a teacher, translator and amateur actress with minor parts in several films (Magic Silver [trailer], 2009) - is cast in her first lead role as Grandma, who conspires with seven-year-old Mona - too little to be old, too old to be little - they both feel that they are kept on the sidelines of life.
After her lead in Norwegian director Roar Uthaug's Escape, to be premiered on September 28, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal will play Mother with Thomas Bye as her boyfriend. The Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B. Kvae production for Paradox Spillefilm will be released on August 16, 2013, through Nordisk Film Distribusjon AS.