The Ash Lad and Carpenter Andersen are set to hit screens
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Mikkel Brænne Sandemose and Terje Rangnes are preparing family features starring Norwegian family legends
The Ash Lad – a central character in Norwegian authors Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe’s 19th-century classic fairy tales – will return to the screen in Norwegian director Mikkel Brænne Sandemose’s The Ash Lad in the Hall of the Mountain King, which has received €2 million in production funding from the Norwegian Film Institute.
Written by Aleksander Kirkwood Brown and Espen Enger, and set in the 19th century, the family feature follows 17-year-old Espen (Ash Lad) as he sets off to save the princess of the kingdom, who has been kidnapped; he needs the reward money in order to save the family farm. But the kidnapper is the Mountain King, a fearsome troll who is supposed to be invincible – at least so far. Synnøve Hørsdal and Åshild Ariane Ramborg will produce the family feature for Maipo Film.
More Norwegian family entertainment is in the pipeline: Carpenter Andersen Meets Santa Claus, based on Norwegian author Alf Prøysen’s 1959 novel – which Norwegian pubcaster NRK has aired in an animated version every Christmas since 1973 – will be adapted for a live-action feature by Norwegian director Terje Rangnes and scriptwriter John Kåre Raake.
The Norwegian Film Institute has chipped in €0.7 million for the Fantefilm Fiksjon production by Are Heidenstrøm and Martin Sundland about Carpenter Andersen, who is preparing for a proper family Christmas. Dressed as Santa Claus, he skids on the icy road and crashes into the real Father Christmas; they then decide to make a switch – “I go to see your children, and you go to see mine.” And Santa Claus’ family has never been visited by a carpenter before, while the Andersen family has never been called on by Santa himself.