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Film Institute to aid von Trier, August projects

Two major Danish productions for the international market, Lars von Trier’s “Dogville” followup “Manderlay” and Bille August’s “Return to Sender,” have received funding from the Danish Film Institute.

With Bryce Dallas Howard replacing Nicole Kidman as Grace in the “Dogville” followup, “Manderlay” will shoot on stages at Swedish regional film center Film i Vast in Trollhattan. The Vibeke Windelov production for Zentropa Entertainments, which will be ready in summer 2005, received $1.4 million.

After the financial collapse of his first Hollywood movie, “Without Apparent Motive,” and while waiting to start “Burden of Desire,” August is in Copenhagen directing “Return to Sender,” a death-row thriller starring Connie Nielsen, Aidan Quinn and Kelly Preston. Moviefan Scandinavia producer Michael Lunderskov was allocated $500,000.

Making commitments

The film institute has issued a letter of commitment to Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Pusher II,” to be produced by Refn and Henrik Danstrup’s new production shingle, Billy’s People, which was set up after their former company’s bankruptcy. Danish major Nordisk Film will back both “Pusher II” and a planned “Pusher III.”

Lasse Spang Olsen’s romantic comedy/actioner “Collection,” from ASA Film Prods. (Henrik Moller Sorensen), Easy Film and Scanbox, as well as Swedish director Lisa Ohlin’s “Sex, Hope and Love,” to be co-produced by Peter Bech for Angel Films, will be subsidized when their total financing is in place. A Tom Winther production for Posthus Teatret, Carsten Brandt’s “Mild Pain,” received $500,000.

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