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PRODUCTION Norway

Zentropa Norway signs Straume, Lien and Næss

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Just five months after opening the new Oslo-based office, Zentropa’s Managing Director Valerie Saunders has signed on three of Norway’s top directors: Unni Straume, Jens Lien and Petter Næss.

“Long-term strategies have been established for these three accomplished Norwegians in order to provide them with a solid foundation upon which they can grow and expand. We will be making Norwegian films with either a Norwegian cast or an international cast,” said Saunders.

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Straume’s latest feature film, Music for Weddings and Funerals [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, premiered in the official selection of the 2002 Venice Film Festival. Saunders describes her as “sensual, jazzy and uncompromising”.

Lien, who graduated from the London International Film School, won several awards for his two previous feature films, Jonny Vang (2003) and The Bothersome Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jens Lien
interview: Jørgen Storm Rosenberg
film profile
]
(2006). His upcoming project for Zentropa Norway will be an Australian-set Castaway and will include an international cast.

Næss, the director of Elling [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Gone with the Woman [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, will be the first to start filming for Saunders, the WWII drama Comrade, based on a true story. “It will be an anti-war story, about friendship,” she said.

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