Norwegian director Bård Breien's feature debut, The Art of Negative Thinking (2006), won the Crystal Globe top prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - it was adapted for the stage and played to full houses in the Czech Republic. Now Breien returns to shoot The Downs Detective, which will begin principal photography on locations in Prague on August 29 as a Norwegian-Czech-Danish-German co-production.
Scripted by Breien and Eske Troelstrup, The Downs Detective is the story of a 28-year-old private investigator who is short of assignments – he suffers from Down's syndrome. But when a famous skater Olav disappears, and his family needs a harmless PI to calm down a wealthy and senile grandmother, he is on his first job. Even his father, a real detective who is also on the case, realises that he has an extraordinary perception of police work.
Staged by Norwegian producers Asle Vatn and Pål Røed for Friland, recently credited with such films as Headhunters, Sons of Norway and Upperdog, Breien's second feature starring newcomer Svein Andre Hofsø is co-produced by Bo Ehrhardt, of Denmark's Nimbus Film ApS and Pavel Bercik, of the Czech Republic's Evolution Films, with Germany's unafilm. Nordisk Film Distribusjon AS will handle local release in the autumn 2013, and TrustNordisk is in charge of international sales.
The Norwegian Film Institute has contributed €1.2 million to the movie, which has also received €320,000 top financing from Eurimages. The Czech Republic has chipped in €315,000, and the project will further benefit from the country's film incentives for international producers – a 20% reimbursement of production costs spent in the Czech Republic.
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