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The Norwegian Film Institute supports two feature films


- The much-anticipated sophomore film by Maria Sødahl and the historic fourth Wives instalment by Anja Breien will receive over €1.5 million from the NFI

The Norwegian Film Institute supports two feature films
Director Maria Sødahl (© Therese Alice Sanne)

The Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) has announced that it is supporting two Norwegian feature films directed by two renowned female filmmakers, Maria Sødahl and Anja Breien, who will be helming their highly anticipated new movies, to the tune of NOK 14,550,000 (€1,530,000).

In detail, Maria Sødahl, who made her worldwide breakthrough with her critically acclaimed debut, Limbo [+see also:
film profile
(2010), which also took over 50,000 admissions locally, is directing her sophomore drama, Hope. Starring Andrea Bræin Hovig (I Belong, All the Beauty) and Swedish megastar Stellan Skarsgård, the film follows Anja, a successful careerist, who on Christmas Eve is diagnosed with brain metastases, giving her only three months to live. When she learns the news, her partner Tomas and their children are by her side. The couple’s relationship will go through a turbulent time, but love will remain at the epicentre.

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Scripted by the director, the film is almost autobiographical, as Sødahl was also diagnosed with cancer six years ago. Budgeted at NOK 28.5 million (€3 million), Hope is being produced by Thomas Robsahm and Yngve Sæther for Motlys AS in co-production with Zentropa and has received NOK 11,050,000 (€1,165,000) from the NFI. The beginning of shooting is planned for mid-January 2019, with delivery scheduled for October 2019 and a local release during Christmas. SF Studios is handling the Scandinavian distribution, while Danish firm TrustNordisk is in charge of the world sales.

Seasoned director Anja Breien is making history with the fourth and final instalment in her Wives series, entitled Wives – 40 Years After. The series follows a group of women who decide to abandon their husbands for one week and go on a male-like romp. Starring Anne Marie Ottersen, Katja Medbøe and Frøydis Armand, the first Wives film was released in 1975. Afterwards, Breien directed the follow-ups Wives – 10 Years After (1985) and Wives III (1996) with the same cast in the same roles. Since Medbøe’s death in 1996, no new film has been made, although now Breien, Ottersen and Armand have decided to reunite to give their audience some closure.

The script, which avoids sacrificing any of the comic aspect that characterised the previous films, and steers clear of treating the heroines like older women, was developed by the director in collaboration with the actresses. Wives – 40 Years After is being produced by Tordenfilm AS and is being supported by the NFI to the tune of NOK 4.5 million (€475,000). The project is not yet fully financed, but the aim is to premiere it by the end of 2020.

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