Icelandic filmmaker Benedikt Erlingsson, whose sophomore outing “Woman at War” is world premiering at Cannes’ Critics’ Week, is set to reteam with French producers Marianne Slot and Carine Leblanc on an untitled timely feature driven by women.
The film will take place during three different time periods, the antiquity, the ’70s and 2077, and follow women involved in battles over gender equality in show business. Slot and Leblanc are producing via Paris based Slot Machine.
Erlingsson said it will be his most ambitious and expensive project to date. Slot, who is part of We Do it Together, said, “gender equality has always been an issue in show business, even during the antiquity.”
Erlingsson’s latest film, “Woman at War,” is one of the most feminist movies hitting Cannes this year. The movie is a female-powered action comedy about Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir), a middle-age woman who embarks on an environmental mission to protect the highlands of Iceland while struggling to fulfill her desire to become a mother.
Erlingsson, who made his feature debut with the critically acclaimed “Of Horses and Men,” said the female protagonist of “Woman at War” reflected the strong status of women in Iceland. The film also ponders on the philosophical and personal implications of being an activist, said Erlingsson, who used to be an activist in Iceland. “‘Woman at War’ shows how fighting for a cause is a double-edge sword, it can be a transcendental experience because it involves self-sacrifice but at the same time it can be a slippery slope when the end justifies the means,” explained Erlingsson, who produced the film with his company, Gulldrengurinn.
Featuring extensive action scenes and an unusual script, “Woman at War” was produced with a modest budget of €3.2 million ($3.8 million) and proved difficult to finance. It took Slot and Leblanc, who are co-producers of Lars von Trier’s “The House that Jack Built,” to get the project off the ground.
German sales company Beta Cinema reps international sales. Jour2Fête will handle French distribution.