Kon-Tiki sets sail for NOK 63 million feature 63 years later

The new film by Max Manus directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning supported by the Norwegian Film Institute, which also backs Headhunters (Hodejegerne) and Twigson in Trouble (Knerten i knipe)

Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition will be the subject of a NOK 63m ($10.6m) feature, to be produced by Nordisk Film Production AS, and the UK’s Recorded Picture Company (RPC).

The Norwegian Film Institute will chip in NOK18.1m ($3.6m) production funding, adding NOK10.5m ($1.8m) for Headhunters (Hodejegerne), the first film from a Jo Nesbø thriller, NOK10.3m ($1.7m) for Twigson in Trouble (Knerten i knipe), the third installment in the Twigson franchise.

Norwegian directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning, whose World War II epic Max Manus took 1.1m admissions in Norway, will helm the Kon-Tiki movie from a script by Peter Skavlan (Sofie’s World/Sofies verden). Shooting starts in June, and the première has been scheduled for fall of 2011.

Kon-Tiki was the name of the wooden raft Heyerdahl and five fellow scientists used for a 101-day journey from South America to the Polynesian Islands. Heyerdahl’s own documentary of the 8,000-kilometre voyage became the first – and so far only – Norwegian full-length production to win an Oscar.

Aage Aaberge and Lone Korslund will produce for Nordisk, with RPC’s Jeremy Thomas, who until Heyerdahl’s death in 2002 worked with the explorer to develop a feature film version of his book, which has been translated into more than 70 languages. – Nordisk Filmdistribusjon will handle Norwegian distribution.

Norway’s Friland, with Sweden’s Yellow Bird, which produced the Millennium trilogy, has launched the NOK16.2m ($4.4m) Headhunters, the first Nesbø thriller adapted for the screen, to be directed by Morten Tyldum, whose Fallen Angels/Falne engler won him five Amanda nominations.

”It could become a new Millennium success, with the reservation that we don’t have the Stieg Larsson myth to build on,” said Friland producer Asle Vatn. ”Tyldum’s visions of Headhunters gives us high expectations for the film,” added Yellow Bird’s Marianne Gray. Nordisk Filmdistribusjon has set local release for August 2011.

Arild Østin Ommundsen will direct the NOK20.7m ($3.5m) Twigson in Trouble (Knerten i knipe), the third installment in the children’s series from Anne-Cath Vestly’s books.Paradox’s Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B Kvae will produce the feature shooting from May, and scheduled to open for Scanbox in September 2011.

Source: Norwegian Film Institute

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