Magazine article Screen International

After Co-Production Deal Signed, Two German-Norwegian Features Underway

Magazine article Screen International

After Co-Production Deal Signed, Two German-Norwegian Features Underway

Article excerpt

Two German-Norwegian features will shortly roll on Norwegian locations, following Norway's ratification of the European treaty on co-productions, including German directors Georg Maas' Two Lives (Zwei Leben/To liv) and Matthias Glasner's

The last German-Norwegian joint venture was staged 34 years ago.

German actress Juliane Köhler (Downfall) is currently learning Norwegian to play the lead in Two Lives, co-starring with Matthias Schweighöfer and Liv Ullmann.

"A family drama with thriller elements, the historical background is the children born during the WWII Nazi occupation of Norway, with a Norwegian mother and a German soldier father. Some were sent to Germany, where they grew up at East German orphans' homes. The Stasi state police would steal the indentities of these. Lebensborn kids and used them for spies whom they planted in the West," explained Norwegian producer Axel Helgeland, of Helgeland Film.

"Now one of them, a woman - 45, living in Norway, married and a successful photographer - is about to be caught by her past, and realises that she will have to admit she is not the person she has claimed to be for the last 20 years. The woman whose identity she took was found murdered, naked and burnt, with fingerprints erased." Helgeland will produce the $4.8m ([euro]3.1m) with Dieter Zeppenfeld and Rudi Teichmann, of Germany's Zinnober and B&T Film, on 75% German finance.

Scripted by Danish writer Kim Fupz Aakeson, Mercy has been relocated to Hammerfest in Norway - the world's most northern city - where Glassner will direct his The Free Will lead Jürgen Vogel and Birgit Minichmayr as a German couple, who have emigrated with their 13-year-old son in the hope of getting a better life together. …

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