Lars von Trier receives biggest film support ever

The Norwegian funding company the Nordisk Film and TV Fond has allocated its largest funding amount ever to The House that Jack Built, the upcoming film from Lars von Trier.

The film was allocated NOK 3,950,000 (roughly 388,164 GBP and 494,324 USD).

Set in the USA during the 1970s, the film follows the main character Jack over a period of twelve years as he commits crime after crime and turns into a serial killer.

Lars von Trier said in a statement: “We experience the story from Jack’s point of view, while he postulates that each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork.

“Along the way we experience Jack’s descriptions of his personal condition, problems and thoughts through a recurring conversation with the unknown Verge – a grotesque mixture of sophistry mixed with an almost childlike self-pity and psychopathic explanations.“

The House That Jack Built is a dark and sinister story, yet presented through a philosophical and even occasional humorous tale”, said the director.

Louis Vesth, the main producer at Zentropa, said that the casting will be announced later this year. Some technical shooting will start this autumn in Trollhättan (a major location for filmmaking in Sweden) as well as in Denmark. Major shooting will start in the spring.

There is much anticipation surrounding the film, especially considering it has already been pre-sold by TrustNordisk to various territories including the UK, Latin America, Benelux and Poland.

Other projects received funding from the Nordisk Film and TV Fond, and they are:

  • Aniaraa Swedish sci-fi project that follows the spaceship Aniara as it transports Earth’s population to Mars, their new home planet. But as Aniara leaves the ruined earth, a colliding asteroid knocks the ship off course. The passengers realise they are going to drift through space forever. Aniara is co-directed by Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja and produced by Annika Rogell of Meta Film Sweden. Filming starts on the 31st of October and the film is expected to be released in autumn 2017.
  • What Will People Say is produced by Maria Ekerhovd for Mer Film Norway and is about fifteen-year-old Nisha who lives a double life. At home she obeys the traditions and values of Pakistani family life, but outside with her friends she is just like any other westernised Norwegian teenager. One day, Nisha´s two worlds brutally collide when her father catches her in bed with her boyfriend. Outraged and ashamed, Nisha´s parents kidnap and send her off to relatives in Pakistan. Afraid and alone in a strange land, Nisha begins a search for her identity and a sense of belonging. The film is directed by Iram Haq, who previously directed I Am YoursWhat Will People Say is based on her experience growing up between two cultures.
  • The documentary Code Faith follows director Ida Grøn’s 94-year-old Grandpa. The respected dentist and freedom fighter was around during the occupation, worked for the CIA during the Cold War, although he denies it. The release is due for early 2017.
  • Death of a Child is a documentary about life and death, based around the parents worst fear of causing their child’s death. This documentary is also due for release in early 2017.


Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.