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CANNES 2006 Norway

Two strong films selected for Critics Week

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Christopher Nielsen’s Free Jimmy [+see also:
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, the first CGI film made in Norway and the most expensive Norwegian film ever made, has been selected alongside Jens Lien’s drama The Bothersome Man to take part in this year’s International Critics Week at Cannes. The animated film will close the sidebar section on May 25, while Lien’s second feature film following Jonny Vang will screen in competition on May 20 against six other titles.

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Free Jimmy, a €12.7m film produced by Lars Andreas Hellebust for Storm Studio, in co-production with veteran UK producer Sarah Radclyffe, is an irreverent black comedy with a star-studded voice cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Kyle MacLachlan, Simon Pegg (who also wrote the English language script for the film), Jim Broadbent and Samantha Morton. It follows low-life anti-heroes Roy Arnie, Odd, Gaz and Flea as they are uprooted from their mean city streets to work with Ringmaster Stromowski in a touring Russian circus in terminal decline whose star attraction is the elephant Jimmy, kept “happy” on a cocktail of drugs. One day Jimmy escapes and so begins a madcap cross-country road trip to find him.

Writer/director Nielsen is an established comic book writer in Norway who also made the award-winning animated series Two Wasted Wankers for NRK. Free Jimmy was released last Friday through Columbia Tri Star/Nordisk Film in Norway and is the second biggest opener of the weekend with over 30,000 admissions.

The Bothersome Man tells the story of 40 year-old Andreas (Trond Fausa Aurvåg), who arrives in a city with no memory of how he got there. He is presented with a job, an apartment, even a wife. He soon realizes he has arrived in his after-life and tries to escape. Critics Week programme director Christophe Leparc said: “The Bothersome Man must be part of our programme! So absurd, beautiful, funny, moving and interesting”.

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