Norwegian thriller Pioneer sold to the US from four-minute promo in Berlin
- Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjærg’s €6.7 million Aksel Hennie starrer found American release through Magnolia Pictures, which also distributed Headhunters with Hennie – both from Friland Film
Introduced by TrustNordisk on a four-minute promo at the European Film Market in Berlin, Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjærg’s €6.7 million oilrush thriller, Pioneer, was picked up for American distribution by Magnolia Pictures, which also released Norwegian director Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters [+see also:
film profile] – both are produced by Friland Film, and have Aksel Hennie in the lead.
“After the excellent reception of Headhunters we are very excited to be working with the producers and Hennie again – Pioneer is shaping up to be a terrific thriller,” said president Eamonn Bowles, of Magnolia, part of the Wagner/Cuban media group, which also launched Norwegian directors Anne Sewitsky’s Happy, Happy [+see also:
film profile] (2010) and André Øvredal’s Troll Hunter [+see also:
interview: Andre Øvredal
film profile] (2010).
“Norwegian stories and films obviously have a strong international appeal,” added Norwegian producer Christian Fredrik Martin, of Friland Film, who packaged the film with Pandora Filmproduktion (Germany), Garagefilm International, Film i Väst (Sweden), Les Films d’Antoine (France), MRP Matila Röhr Productions (Finland) and Nordisk Film (Denmark).
Described as “a high-octane conspiracy thriller inspired by 1970s classics such as The Conversation, Three Days of Condor and Chinatown,” and set in the beginning of the Norwegian oil rush, Pioneer stars Hennie as a professional deep-sea diver who is obsessed to go 500 metres down in the Norwegian Sea. After one of his colleagues dies, he begins to investigate the oil companies and their government connections – who pulls which strings?
The film, which will be released domestically in the autumn by Nordisk Film Distribusjon, co-stars Ane Dahl Torp, Jørgen Langhelle, AndreEriksen, Eirik Stubø, David A Jørgensen, adding US actors Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) and Stephen Lang (Avatar), Australian actor Jonathan LaPaglia (Cold Case) and Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman (Miss Bala).
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