Dogma director begins romantic ‘Skagerak’

Danish helmer Kragh-Jacobsen aiming for 2003 Berlin fest

COPENHAGEN — Danish director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, whose Dogma 3: “Mifune” won a Silver Bear at the 1999 Berlinale and sold to 40 countries, starts lensing on his new $4.2 million feature “Skagerak” in Scotland next month.

The film will be ready for the 2003 Berlin film fest. Scripted by Anders Thomas Jensen and starring Danish actress Iben Hjejle, “Skagerak” is “a witty, romantic comedy with biblical and fairy tale influences, ranging from Snow White & the Seven Dwarves to the Virgin Mary and the Three Wise Men,” Kragh-Jacobsen told Daily Variety.

Produced by Denmark’s Nimbus Film, the English-language feature is packaged with U.K.’s BBC Films, Scottish Screen, Sweden’s Memfis Film & TV and Film i Väst, Denmark’s Zentropa Entertainments and Egmont Entertainment, Germany’s Concorde, Switzerland’s Monopole Pathé and Spain’s Alta Films.

The film stars Hjejle as a girl who accepts an offer from a Scottish Earl to become a surrogate mother.

The Danish Film Institute, which has chipped in $600,000 for the project, will also support Per Fly’s “The Heritage,” his $2.2 million follow-up to the award-winning “The Bench” and the second installment of his trilogy on the social classes. Zentropa Entertainments’ Ib Tardini will produce for a Feb. 2003 launch.

The institute’s latest subsidy package includes “Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself” by “Italian for Beginners” director Lone Scherfig, currently shooting in Scotland, and financed by Zentropa Entertainments with — among others — Scottish Screen. Premiere is skedded for Dec. 2003.

State money will also back Natasha Arthy’s “And the Dog is Called Ford Mustang,” the “Miracle” di-rector’s attempt at a Dogma film, from a script by Kim Fupz Aakeson (“The One and Only”). Nimbus Film’s Birgitte Hald and Birgitte Skov will produce the $1.1 million feature, which will be readied for Feb. 2003.

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