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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Denmark / Finland / Iceland

Anders Walter’s war drama Befrielsen boarded by TrustNordisk

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- The feature lifts the veil on a dark chapter in the history of Denmark: the handling of approximately 250,000 German refugees who came to the country right before its liberation

Anders Walter’s war drama Befrielsen boarded by TrustNordisk
Pilou Asbæk (left) in Befrielsen (© Andreas Bastiansen)

TrustNordisk has boarded the world sales of a new World War II drama, Befrielsen. Penned and helmed by Anders Walter, the feature recently wrapped filming and stars Game of Thrones actor Pilou Asbæk in the lead role. Walter is best known for his Oscar-winning short Helium (2013) and his debut feature, I Kill Giants [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, screened at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

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His sophomore film is inspired by true events and depicts a dark chapter in the history of Denmark: the handling of the approximately 250,000 German refugees who came to Denmark right before the country’s liberation in the spring of 1945. When a folk high school is turned into an internment camp for German refugees, the heads, couple Jakob and Lis, and their children, are thrust into an impossible situation. Should the family go against the Danes' anti-German sentiment and help the refugees – or stand firm in the resistance against the Germans?

Alongside Asbæk, the movie stars actors Katrine Greis-Rosenthal (A Taste of Hunger [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Ulrich Thomsen (The Marco Effect [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Morten Hee Andersen (A Matter of Trust) and Peter Kurth (Inventing Anna). The technical crew includes DoP Rasmus Heise (I Kill Giants) and editor Lars Wissing (I Kill Giants).

Commenting on the acquisition, managing director at TrustNordisk Susan Wendt said: “We are excited to represent this deeply moving and nerve-wracking drama that portrays the unimaginable dilemmas that people face in the wake of war. With the captivating story and talented team working both behind and in front of the cameras, we have high expectations for this project.” The creative team describes the film as “a touching and nerve-wracking drama about the final stages of the occupation and a nation under pressure”.

Befrielsen is a Danish-Finnish-Icelandic co-production being staged by Miriam Nørgaard, Mette Høst Hansen and Tomas Radoor for Nordisk Film Production, in collaboration with Growing Stories. It received support from the Danish Film Institute, FilmFyn, the Nordisk Film & TV Fond, RUV, YLE and TV2 Denmark. Budgeted at €4.1 million, it will be released locally on 23 September 2023. TrustNordisk expects to show footage at the next American Film Market.

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