Haugesund: Norwegian Breakout Star Kristoffer Joner to Topline ‘Handle With Care’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Kristoffer Joner, the Norwegian breakout actor whose latest film “The Wave” world premieres at Toronto, is set to topline Arild Andresen’s “Handle With Care.”

Produced by Hans Jorgens Osnes at Motlys, the outfit behind Eskil Vogt’s “Blind,” as well as Joachim Trier’s “Oslo, August 31st” and “Louder Than Bombs,” “Handle With Care” is one of the 17 projects pitched at the New Nordic Films.

Joner stars as a grieving Norwegian father who struggles to raise alone his adopted son after the death of his wife and embarks on a journey with the boy to find his biological mother in Colombia. Pic, which was penned by Hilde Susan Jægtnes, Jorge Camacho and Andresen and will shoot mostly in English, will chart the pair’s journey navigating across Bogota with the help of a local driver.

The 2.8 million Euros film has already received backing from Norwegian Film Institute, Storyline, SF Film Production, Waterland Film and the Netherlands A-Film. Osnes told Variety he had raised 70% of the financing and was in discussions with several Nordic and French sales agents.

“Handle With Care” will mark Andresen’s third feature, after “Company Orheim,” which won Goteborg’s Dragon Award for best Nordic film, and “The Liverpool Goalie,” which nabbed Berlin’s Crystal Bear and a special mention.

“‘Handle With Care’ will be my most international film and an adventure for me because I’ll be discovering Colombia at the same time as the protagonist,” said Andresen, who also revealed that the style of the film will be inspired by Michael Winterbottom’s work.

“I envision ‘Handle with Care’ as a richly layered, energetic film that stirs strong emotions and raises social, political issues dealing with contemporary family models, relationships between parents and their kids and life in Bogota,” explained Andresen, who worked with children when he directed the youth drama miniseries “Boys Will Be Boys,” which turned out to be the first Norwegian production to earn an Emmy nomination.

Joner, who just finished shooting Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “The Revenant” with Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio, said “Handle With Care” will be a challenging role. “I’ll have to defend this guy as much as I can, make him relatable even though he has failed as a parent. In his mind, he’s trying to do the right thing.”

“The Wave,” the Norwegian disaster movie in which Joner holds the leading role, opened the Haugesund film festival.

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