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PRODUCTION Denmark

Straight from the horse’s mouth: Tarok – the horse that's a Danish national symbol

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- After their This Life blockbuster, Danish director Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis and producer Regner Grasten look at a famous horse from Danish history

Straight from the horse’s mouth: Tarok – the horse that's a Danish national symbol

While their World War II epic This Life [+see also:
trailer
interview: Anne Grethe Bjarup Riis
film profile
]
is closing in on 700,000 domestic admissions, Danish director Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis (pictured) and producer Regner Grasten are currently casting their next feature, Tarok – Dannebrog on Four Legs, a biopic of Denmark’s most famous horse.

In a 2010 poll designating the greatest sporting events of all time, staged by Danish public broadcaster DR-TV, Tarok – a trotting horse that won 111 races out of 156 between 1975-1980 – won in front of soccer and handball teams which had taken home World and European championships.

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”Tarok is not just an adventure of a chestnut colt running faster than the other horses. It is a story of a little family from Skive that loved horses, of diligence and skill, of father and son,” Grasten explained. ”It became a national symbol in a time of uncertainty, showing that Denmark could also assert itself internationally.

”Talking about films about horses, everybody will think of The Red Horses, Jon Iversen and Alice O’Fredericks’ 1950 movie which was seen by 2.3 million Danes – less will do,” continued Grasten, who sees the film as an image of the change ”between the liberated 1970s and the selfish 1980s, when unity and respect were important, as they are today”.

Danish author Jesper Nicolaj Christiansen – main writer on DR-TV’s upcoming drama series 1864, also credited for Soldiers Don’t Cry (2009) – will script the feature, which Grasten will produce for his Regner Grasten Filmproduktion. Principal photography is scheduled for April-May 2013, and the film will be domestically released on October 10, 2013.

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