The Shamer’s Daughter gets backing and marketing

The Shamers Daughter
Kids films aren’t normally our focus here, but when we heard The Shamer’s Daughter was ‘Game of Thrones for kids’ and had a ton of international interest, it got us curious.
The film opened yesterday in Denmark after backing from Nordisk Film, and has so far benefitted from a marketing campaign to reach the fans of author Lene Kaaberbøl’s best-selling book adapted by Anders Thomas Jensen.
From the Nordisk Film and TV Fund: 

The film itself and materials for the marketing campaign have been heavily researched and tested by production house Nepenthe Film and Nordisk Film Distribution to remain truthful to The Shamer’s Daughter’s universe. That meant going for a darker and scarier version and taking greater risks as the family audience is very important for a film’s commercial success. “The Shamer’s Daughter and other books in the Shamer’s chronicle series have been used extensively in Danish schools and a lot of young Danish adults have a relation to them. Had we made a traditional family film and targeted only this demographic with our materials, we believe we would not have had a chance to reach the core audience of readers and ambassadors aged 15-25. ” says Klaus Odegaard, Nordisk Film Distribution’s Head of Marketing for the Nordic region.

Producer Nina Lyng concurs with Odegaard: “It was very important for us from the very beginning to be as realistic as possible within the fantasy universe. The books are very dark as well, but there is always a dash of hope. This light at the end of the tunnel was very important for us to bring into the film as well. And foremost we wanted to take our audience seriously and be true to all of the aspects of the dramatic and scary elements in the story.”

The best-selling author was a strong ambassador for the film during the entire promotional campaign and online activities on social media -mainly Facebook- to reach the book’s fan base was the core of Nordisk Film’s marketing push, alongside a wide outdoor poster campaign, trailering campaign, press and TV advertising. To build the word of mouth, several previews were lined up from early March and nearly 14,000 people saw the film before Thursday’s national release.

 On a Nordic level, Nordisk Film plans to create a similar wide P&A campaign for The Shamer’s Daughter in Norway where the book was also very popular and recommended by schools. The Norwegian release is set for May 1st. For Sweden and Finland where the book is not nearly as widely read as in Norway, the Scandinavian distribution group is still waiting for market and exhibitors’ reactions to finalise release plans.

Internationally, The Shamer’s Daughter has already bewitched a dozen buyers from territories such as France, Germany, Russia, South America and most recently China. TrustNordisk handles sales.

As for Lyng and her production colleague Eva Juel Hammerich, they are already working on the script for the second film in the Shamer’s chronicles and looking at financing opportunities. “We hope that we will start pre-production on the next film by the beginning of 2016” concludes Lyng.

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.