Ole Giæver, whose debut “Out of Nature” won the Berlinale’s Europa Cinema Label and played at Toronto, is set to reteam with Mer Film on his next fiction film, “From the Balcony” (working title).
Shot over the course of one year in the director’s own family and pitched as a “space and time odyssey” by Mer Film, “From The Balcony” will weave live action and animation to depict Giæver’s colorful and absurd thoughts.
“Out of Nature” gave audiences a taste of (Ole Giæver)’s hilarious, left-field thoughts and ‘From the Balcony’ will push the envelop even further,” said Maria Ekerhovd who is producing the pic at Mer Film. “To give you a little idea, one scene will feature a laughing dog,” quipped the producer.
Ekerhovd said although the film will shoot in Giaever’s family and in his own apartment, it will be a pure fiction and will star professional actors. Øistein Refseth, acquisition and marketing manager at Mer Film, said “From The Balcony” is a film essay in the vein of Chris Marker’s films.
Tightly budgeted around 1 million Euros, “From The Balcony” will start shooting early next year and will be completed in late 2017 — taking into account roughly one year of post-production for the important vfx work and animation sequences, Ekerhovd noted.
Mexico City and Paris-based outfit NDM, which sold “Out of Nature” worldwide, is handling international sales.
Mer Film, whose recent credits include “Here is Harold” and “The Disappearing Illusionist,” is also launching a distribution company which will dedicated to release Mer Film’s productions as well as third-party movies, preferably festival players and daring arthouse movies from around the world, in Norway.
Mer Film’s new distribution outfit boasts a first slate including “The Here After,” “Mediterranea,””Ceremony of Splendor” and Wim Wenders’ “Every Thing Will Be Fine,” which plays at Haugesund.
Refseth, who spearheads the distribution operations, explained the company first experimented with “Out of Nature” and was satisfied with the box office performance. “There is an audience in Norway for quality director-driven films from the Nordics and abroad; these movies just need to be marketed differently,” said Refseth, who nevertheless emphasized the fact that the Norwegian distribution market was being challenged by the slow decline in arthouse theaters owned by municipalities and the proliferation of multiplexes.
On the production side, Mer Film’s roster includes Iram Haq’s (“I Am Yours”) anticipated sophomore pic “What Will People Say,” a semi-autobiographic drama, and Izer Aliu’s (“The Good Life – Over There”) feature debut “Twelve Challenges,” a coming-of-age addressing friendships and peer pressure. Ekerhovd said the company was focusing on discovering new voices and talent.