Henrik Ruben Genz's Erna at War now filming in Estonia
- The international war drama, starring Trine Dyrholm in the lead role, began filming in and around Tartu on 29 August
A new war drama directed by Danish helmer Henrik Ruben Genz (Word of God [+see also:
film profile], Satisfaction 1720 [+see also:
film profile]) is now in the works. Principal photography began this week in and around Tartu, Estonia's second-largest city. Genz's new feature follows his 2017 dramedy Word of God, starring actors Søren Malling and Marie Askehave in the lead roles.
In Erna at War, we follow the story of a strong woman called Erna (Trine Dyrholm), who goes to war dressed as a man to protect her intellectually disabled son Kalle (Sylvester Byder), called up to fight. Heading to the front disguised as private Julius Rasmussen, Erna must face not only the enemy but also the love of her life when she meets blacksmith Anton (Anders W Berthelsen) in the trenches. One of the story's antagonists is an officer called Meyer who enrols Kalle against Erna’s wishes, played by Danish actor Ulrich Thomsen. The script, penned in its entirety by Bo Hr Hansen (The Purity of Vengeance [+see also:
interview: Elliott Crosset Hove
film profile], The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear [+see also:
film profile]), is an adaptation of Erling Jepsen's novel of the same name. Previously, Genz adapted Jepsen's literary work in Terribly Happy [+see also:
film profile] (2008) and Excuse Me (2012).
Estonian producer Esko Rips recently shared his take on the project: “The entire team at Nafta Film is very happy to be boarding this production, which puts a spotlight on Estonia and puts Tartu on the map of the international film industry. I believe this movie will soon be followed by new, bigger projects.” Speaking about the first few shooting days, he added: “We are currently filming in the old building of the National Archives, which houses the barracks of the First World War. The first few shooting days have been very exciting and productive, the cooperation with the Danes is going smoothly, and we have heard nothing but praise for the Estonian crew.” In the coming days, the most violent battle scenes will be filmed in the village of Tamsa, Tartu County, where real World War I trenches were excavated. Furthermore, filming will also take place in Belgium and Denmark.
Erna at War is being produced by Birgitte Hald and Nynne Selin Eidnes for Nimbus Film (Denmark), Sébastian Delloye for Entre Chien & Loup (Belgium), and Esko Rips for Nafta Film (Estonia). In addition, the movie has received support from the Danish Film Institute, TV2 Denmark, FilmFyn, TV4, the Estonian Film Institute, the Tartu Film Fund, Wallimage and Creative Europe MEDIA, among other sources. Copenhagen-based outfit Scanbox Entertainment will take care of the film's domestic release, scheduled for September 2020.
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