×

First Trailer Released for Venice Days Entry ‘Beware of Children’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety has been given exclusive access to the first trailer for Dag Johan Haugeruds’ politically and socially charged drama “Beware of Children,” which premieres as part of the Venice Film Festival’s Venice Days section.

The pic, which is being sold at Venice by Picture Tree Intl., features the dramatic aftermath of a tragic incident in a middle-class suburb in Oslo. During a school break, the 13-year-old daughter of a Socialist member of parliament accidentally causes the death of a classmate, the son of a high-profile right-wing politician.

The school’s staff and parents must navigate this traumatic situation, which is made more difficult by the web of relationships that link them, and their conflicted loyalties and secrets.

The film is Haugerud’s second feature after his debut, “I Belong,” which won the award for best picture at the Amandas, Norway’s national film awards, in 2012. It is produced by Motlys, the company behind Joachim Trier’s Cannes 2015 competition title “Louder Than Bombs.” Arthaus will handle Norwegian distribution.

Saether, who also produced “I Belong,” told Variety: “What attracted me first was [that] this was both an entertaining and a serious story about how we grownups struggle to become just that – grownups – when we are in difficult situations, not always able to take the responsibility we should.”

Popular on Variety

He added: “For me, in the end, ‘Beware of Children’ is about a group of adults trying hard to behave as decent people.”

The members of the ensemble cast, which includes Henriette Steenstrup, Jan Gunnar Roise and Thorbjorn Harr, deliver compelling yet deftly nuanced performances. “Our aim was to give all the characters in the film the best reasons in the world for saying and doing what they do, and especially when it comes to the right-wing politician – maybe especially so when it comes to him, because he’s hard to like,” Saether says. “I think the times we are living in are polarized and the film gives us an example of how this turns out in everyday life.”

Saether, who compares the tone of Haugeruds’ films to that of French filmmakers such as Eric Rohmer, says of the Norwegian writer and director: “He is funny without trying too hard to be funny because the humor is in impossible situations and dilemmas, and this all goes back to the way we communicate or mis-communicate – from not being able to say exactly what we want to say. This has been at the core of his books and films all the way back to when we met in the late ’80s.”

An important aspect to the film is the relationship between adult and children. “He can see how difficult it is for kids to stay kids when we grownups project our expectations on them. Often we treat them as friends more than kids and this can be very nice, but it can also be difficult for the relationship,” Saether says.

Motlys’ slate includes Maria Sodahl’s “Hope,” starring Stellan Skarsgard and set for a fall premiere; the internationally successful drama series “Home Ground,” about a woman coaching a men’s soccer team; and Yngvild Sve Flikke’s comedy “The Art of Falling,” based on the graphic novel “Fallteknikk,” which shoots in October.

More Film

  • Jack Gordon obit

    Jack Gordon, Former MGM International Distribution Head, Dies at 90

    Jack Gordon, a former president of MGM International Distribution, died on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family. He was 90. Gordon was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 13, 1929. He was the son of the Oscar-winning composer-lyricist Mack Gordon. Following his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean [...]

  • Nine Days Variety Sundance Studio

    ‘Nine Days’ Star Winston Duke Weighs His ‘Social Responsibility’ to Black Men When Choosing Roles

    Winston Duke, Benedict Wong, Zazie Beetz and Bill Skarsgård might be known for their roles in blockbuster franchises like “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Deadpool” and “It,” but in their latest film “Nine Days,” the actors collaborated on something a little less flashy, but emotionally impactful. Assembling in Variety’s Sundance Studio, presented by AT&T, ahead of [...]

  • Tom Harper

    'Aeronauts' Filmmaker Tom Harper to Direct Romance 'Forever' for MGM (EXCLUSIVE)

    MGM has attached “The Aeronauts” director Tom Harper to its romance “Forever” — a project that’s been in development at the studio for eight decades. Jonathan Glickman is producing “Forever,” based on a romantic novella by Mildred Cram (“Love Affair”), which focuses on two lovers from the past who are reincarnated in the modern world. [...]

  • Justin Bieber

    Justin Bieber's 'Cupid' Movie Adds 'Greatest Showman' Director Michael Gracey as Producer

    “The Greatest Showman” director Michael Gracey is joining the production team of Justin Bieber’s animated film “Cupid.” The pop superstar will voice the titular Roman god and executive produce the Mythos Studios movie, directed by Pete Candeland. Black List writer Mike Vukadinovich (Hulu’s “The Runaways”) has also been hired to write the script. “Cupid” marks [...]

  • Premature

    'Premature': Film Review

    There’s poetry in “Premature” — literally, if not always cinematically. Zora Howard, a spoken word artist and sometime actor who reunites with director Rashaad Ernesto Green for his second feature (they collaborated more than a decade earlier on a short of the same name), plays Ayanna, a tentatively romantic Harlem teenager navigating a relationship for [...]

  • Jamila Wenske

    Berlin: Jamila Wenske's Achtung Panda! Producing 'Elbow,' 'Arabic Interpreter' (EXCLUSIVE)

    German producer Jamila Wenske of Berlin-based Achtung Panda! Media has boarded two upcoming projects that explore facets of the immigrant experience in Germany. Asli Özarslan’s “Elbow” follows the turbulent life of a young Turkish woman in Berlin and her decision to move to Istanbul, while Ali Kareem Obaid’s “The Arabic Interpreter” centers on a frustrated, [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein deliberation

    Weinstein Jury Ends Day With Request for Annabella Sciorra's Testimony, No Verdict

    The jurors in the Harvey Weinstein trial ended their third day of deliberations on Thursday with a request to hear the testimony of Annabella Sciorra. The jury has now been deliberating for more than 14 hours, and will return for further deliberations on Friday morning. In a note to the judge late Thursday afternoon, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content