Journey to Utopia wins Eurimages Co-Production Development Award in CPH:FORUM
by Jan Lumholdt
- Erlend Eirik Mo’s new Norwegian effort has been awarded the 2018 Eurimages Co-Production Development Award at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen
Erlend Eirik Mo’s Journey to Utopia (read the interview) has been granted the 2018 Eurimages Co-Production Development Award at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen. When the Norwegian director, the much-praised filmmaker behind documentaries such as Can You Die in Heaven (2005) and Four Letters Apart – Children in the Age of ADHD [+see also:
film profile] (2014), decided that his family would move from their home in the Norwegian county of Telemark to an energy-neutral, politically correct organic village in Denmark, a new film project was born in the process. Journey to Utopia, produced by Mo’s own company, Mosaikk film & TV produksjon, was awarded the €15,000 Eurimages prize for the best pitch at this year’s CPH:FORUM.
Journey to Utopia (just one of several films bearing the Thomas More-inspired name at CPH:DOX this year; others have been Dane Phie Ambo’s Utopia and German directors Jana Magdalena Keuchel and Katharina Knust’s Last Year in Utopia [+see also:
film profile]) starts out in beautiful Telemark, where the Mo family have been living a comfortable life for several years. However, the energy-minded Mrs Mo is not happy about the amount of work-related travelling being conducted, back and forth to Lillehammer, where Mr Mo has a teaching position at the film school, and to Denmark, where Mrs Mo often sings modern opera, which doesn’t exactly benefit the planet and its resources. She has now found the proper, energy-conscious and environmentally correct housing solution: a place in Denmark called Karise Permatoria, just one hour outside of Copenhagen. And away they go, the six-headed Mo family – mum, dad, and four kids aged between three and 16. The problems encountered include the slight inconvenience of the new home not being entirely completed yet; there’s also a teenage daughter whose idea of what’s even remotely cool doesn’t quite correspond with the new destination. Her mother may devote all of her humanitarian might to the struggle for a reasonably intact planet for her daughter to enjoy, but is this really what the daughter would like – especially for the moment?
The film was taking part alongside 25 other new projects, among them The Missing Films, an intimate portrait of Lars von Trier directed by two of his long-time collaborators, Tomas Gislason and Jacob Thuesen. This highly anticipated project is slated for a 2019 premiere.
Journey to Utopia, chosen thanks to its artistic quality as well as its likelihood of becoming and remaining a co-production involving at least two Eurimages member countries, was chosen by a jury consisting of Tobias Pausinger, Eurimages board member; Marit Van Den Elshout, head of IFFR Pro; and Vibeke Vogel, managing director and founder of Bullitt Film.
This is the fifth Eurimages Award at CPH:DOX since its introduction in 2013. The previous recipients have been Psychosis in Stockholm by Maria Bäck (Sweden, awarded in 2017), The Golden Dawn Case by Håvard Bustnes (Norway, 2015), On Screen Off Record by Rami Farah and Lyana Saleh (Denmark, 2014) and Aquarela by Victor Kossakovsky (UK, 2013).
Click here for details of the full industry programme. The CPH:INDUSTRY screening market, CPH:MARKET, was open to professionals during the entire festival (15-25 March).
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