The Lion Woman set to roar into life
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- The Norwegian Film Institute will support Vibeke Idsøe’s adaption of Erik Fosnes Hansen’s 2006 novel – and three international co-productions, including Tordenskjold
Norwegian director Vibeke Idsøe, whose first film, Body Troopers (1996), won Best Nordic Feature at Göteborg and received an Amanda – Norway’s national film prize – for Best Feature Debut, will next portray The Lion Woman [+see also:
interview: Vibeke Idsøe
film profile], about a little girl who was born in 1912 with fine yellow hair all over her body, including her face.
Adapted from Norwegian author Erik Fosnes Hansen’s 2006 novel, the €6.3 million project will be staged by Norwegian producers John M Jacobsen and Marcus Brodersen for Oslo’s Filmkameratene, with Swedish, Danish, German and Czech partners.
The Norwegian Film Institute has chipped in €1.5 million to the depiction of Eva Arctander, who – despite her different look – wants to live like other children; the film follows her story between 1912-1936, in Norway and later in Europe, and covers her difficulties in gaining acceptance and the ways in which her life changes.
Born in New York to Norwegian parents, Hansen’s books have been translated into 25 languages; The Lion Woman, which garnered him the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize, will have its film adaptation scripted by Idsøe and photographed by Geir Hartly Andreassen.
The film institute also backed Norwegian directors Inge Wegge and Edda Grjotheim’s full-length documentary, Bjørnøya, to the tune of €200,000; produced by Anders Graham for Turbin Film, it sees three brothers travelling to Bjørnøya Island, next to Spitzbergen, because they want to practise surfing where nobody has ever done so before.
Three Norwegian companies were funded to participate in international co-productions:
Hummel & Nimbus (Gudny Hummelvoll) received €360,000 to join Tordenskjold, Danish producer Lars Bredo Rahbek and Nimbus Film’s €5.4 million historical epic about the 18th-century Danish-Norwegian naval hero. Norwegian author Erlend Loe has written the film for Danish director Henrik Ruben Genz.
€240,000 went to Storm Films (Frederick Howard, Lars Hellebust), which will collaborate with Swedish producer Anders Birkeland and GF Studios’ Heaven on Earth, an independent sequel to Swedish director Kay Pollak’s Oscar-nominated As It Is in Heaven [+see also:
film profile] (2004). Pollak’s first feature in ten years is self-scripted in conjunction with Carin Pollak.
Lastly, Neofilm (Aage Aaberge) collected €300,000 for its share in Dutch director Boudewijn Koole’s Beyond Sleep, adapted from Dutch author Willem Frederik Herman’s 1966 novel. The story of the research carried out by two young Dutch archaeologists on the effect of meteor impacts in Norway’s Finnmark county will be produced by Hanneke Niens (KeyFilm).