Dagur Kari grows up

Icelandic helmer's soph pic focuses on rogue graffiti artist

LONDON – Icelandic helmer Dagur Kari, whose debut feature “Noi Albinoi” was a firm fest favourite and scooped the Goteborg Nordic Film Award, has begun filming his $2.2m soph effort, “Grown Up People,” in Copenhagen.

After graduating from the Danish National Film School, Kari felt a duty to return to his homeland to shoot “Noi,” whose lead character, an alienated 17-year-old albino boy, was based on a comic book character Kari dreamt up in his teens. “Grown Up” tells the story of another outsider; a graffiti-artist for hire, a sort of a modern day cupid, who sprays amorous messages across the city.

Kari describes the differences between filming in Iceland and Denmark as marked. Whilst the Danish industry infrastructure is far more developed he is already encountering bureaucratic problems, “the working day is hilariously short and you have to have permission for blinking your eyes. In Iceland there is a wonderful rock and roll approach to filmmaking where everything is possible.”

Like “Noi,” Kari describes, “Grown Up People” as “a comedy with a bit of misery. I find an undercurrent of tragedy to be a good thing. It glues the film together.”

Kari has gone back to Copenhagen to team up with scribe and friend Rune Schjoett with whom he has co-written “Grown Up.” Jakob Cedrgreen and Nicolas Bro star. Birgitte Skov and Morten Kaufman from Danish Nimbus Films and Skuli Malmquist and Thor Sigurjonsson from Icelandic Zik Zak Filmworks share producer duties. The Danish Film Institute alongside the Icelandic Film Centre and the Nordic Film and TV Fund are backing the pic. Kari chose to shoot in black and white, as “a bit of a hommage to the filmmaking of the sixties, Godard’s ‘Masculine Feminin’ is the key influence.”

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