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takes punt on rule-breaking Danish project
Hoping that its talent-spotting skills will be proved right yet again, Denmark's progressive M&M Productions has struck a negative pick-up deal for a micro-budget 16mm English-language project that flouts all the usual conventions for film financing in the Nordic region.
The film in question, Zakka West, is due to start shooting next week in Copenhagen and marks 33-year-old Mikael Colville-Andersen's feature film debut as lead actor, screenwriter and director. Most of his crew-members are also fresh from the National Film School of Denmark.
Colville-Andersen, who is British-Danish, graduated as a screenwriter two years ago and has had several screenplays in development since, including Moments Of Clarity, which is now to be Lone Scherfig's English-language debut. However, he and 27-year-old producer Nina Lyng had no patience for the normal funding channels for their own project: even when they successfully applied for and got $5,770 (DKR50,000) in development support from the Danish Film Institute, they went straight into pre-production with the money instead of spending it on a treatment.
in the Nordic region has always relied heavily on the national Film
Institutes, and the number of features shot on low or next to no budgets
has been few. Even the Dogme 95 brand of video productions are still
shot on budgets of between $808,000 (DKR7m) and $1.15m (DKR10m).
Now, with M&M's involvement, they at least know that they will be able to finish their film. "Basically we guarantee the film is ready for distribution by covering all out of pocket costs," M&M producer Kim Magnusson told Screen Daily. "We have great faith in the project, not least because of the talent involved."
the meagre budget, Zakka West will shoot on 16mm film rather than on
video, and will be the first Danish feature to use the new Aton Minima,
as well as the first to be edited entirely on FinalCut Pro.