High profile Danish playwright Christian Lollike spoke to Variety about his feature film debut “The Cake Dynasty” at the Goteborg Festival’s Nordic Film Market. Lollike is presenting the movie in the market’s work-in-progress sidebar.
Represented in international markets by LevelK, the immigration-themed satirical and romantic drama stars Nicolas Bro (“Riders of Justice”) as Neil, a middle-aged factory boss whose family-run cake factory is on the verge of bankruptcy. Deeply depressed, the man embarks on a desperate mission to save the business and starts selling low-calorie sweets, as well as hiring refugees to work in the factory. The seismic changes cause him to open his heart in a new way.
“I’ve wanted to make a sort of a fairy tale about the immigrant situation in Denmark for the last twenty years. In that sense, The film is a reflection on what we call Danish or European values,” says Lollike, a politically-minded artist whose credits include thought-provoking stage plays, such as “Manifesto 2083” which was based on Anders Behring Breivik’s manifesto in relation to the terrorist attack perpetrated in Oslo in 2011. Lollike also previously directed a handful of TV movies.
When living in a country where the influx of refugees and economic immigrants coming to Denmark has sparked many debates about assimilation, Lollike says it’s “time to address these issues – and laugh about them.” One of the things he wanted to achieve through the film was also to debunk stereotypes and “portray a Muslim woman in a way that’s different from what we’re used to seeing.”
“There’s so much anxiety in our society towards Muslims and also towards ourselves. Comedy is the tool that can open this and makes us see things differently,” says the director. He adds: “casting an actress in Sweden with a Muslim background who wanted to go hunting and portray a Muslim woman having a relationship to a married man wasn’t easy.”
Starring Tina Gylling (“Equinox”) and Emma Seested Høgh, the finely-polished movie was produced by Maj Andersson, Kim Magnusson and Michael Fleischer at Tales Inc. “The Cake Dynasty” was supported by the Danish Film Institute and will premiere in September.