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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Austria / Germany / UK / France / Denmark

Jessica Hausner’s Club Zero begins shooting with Mia Wasikowska and Sidse Babett Knudsen in tow

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- The “intense psychological drama”, set at an elite co-educational school, is currently filming in Oxford and will later move to Austria

Jessica Hausner’s Club Zero begins shooting with Mia Wasikowska and Sidse Babett Knudsen in tow
Director Jessica Hausner and actresses Mia Wasikowska (© Martin Kraft) and Sidse Babett Knudsen (© Georges Biard)

Continuing a fondness for two-word titles after Amour Fou [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Little Joe [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile
]
, acclaimed Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner has just begun shooting her anticipated new drama Club Zero in Oxford, UK, with a exciting international cast in tow. Mia Wasikowska (recently seen in Bergman Island [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mia Hansen-Løve
film profile
]
) was originally announced earlier this year in the lead role, but she is now joined by the likes of Sidse Babett Knudsen (recently seen in Wildland [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jeanette Nordahl
film profile
]
and soon in Juste ciel!), Amir El-Masry (known for Limbo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ben Sharrock
film profile
]
), Elsa Zylberstein (soon in cinemas with Simone, a Woman of the Century) and Camilla Rutherford (recently seen in Phantom Thread). It is a co-production between Austria, Germany, the UK and France, with some shooting taking place in Austria, where Hausner and the key below-the-line team are based.

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Described in early reports as an “intense psychological drama”, Wasikowska will play Miss Novak, an unusual teacher who forms an intense bond with five students once settling into her new job at an elite co-educational boarding school. Babett Knudsen will play the principal, surely with some of the aura of her career-defining role as the Danish Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg in Borgen. This synopsis isn’t far away from the plot of the classic novel and film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, about the relationship between an eccentric Scottish schoolteacher and her five favoured female students, known as the ‘Brodie set’, and the power struggle that then ensues.

At her masterclass at the Doha Film Institute last year, Hausner teased a few details of Club Zero as the project was developing. In an interview with Screen, she said the film was about “eating disorders, and eating behaviours”, and referencing her move to UK co-productions with Little Joe and this new work, that “the mentality of the British is not so far away from the mentality of the Austrians. They both have a very dark humour, very wry humour. That is important. If you want to connect, it is important to be able to laugh about the same stuff.”

The production companies involved are Hausner’s main Austrian collaborators Coop99, Germany’s Essential Films, Club Zero Ltd. of the UK, Parisienne from France and Paloma Productions from Denmark, with the producers being Bruno Wagner, Philippe Bober, Mike Goodridge, Johannes Schubert. and Per Damgaard Hansen. Eva Yates of BBC Film is the executive producer, continuing Hausner’s collaboration with the British broadcaster. Further financing comes from the Austrian Film Institute, Vienna Film Fund, Film Industry Support Austria, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Eurimages, ARTE France Cinéma and ZDF/Arte, ORF and BBC Film.

All of Hausner’s previous work has premiered at Cannes, bar Lourdes [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile
]
from 2009, which was a great success in competition at Venice. Delivery is scheduled for Spring 2023, just in time for the French Riviera bash.

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