While rehearsing Anton Tjekhov's Uncle Vanya at Oslo's Nationaltheatret, where it will premiere on February 16, Norwegian actress-director Liv Ullmann (photo) was told that the Norwegian Film Institute has backed her next film, Miss Julie, from Swedish playwright August Strindberg's 1888 classic, by €1 million production funding.
The institute yesterday (January 31) allocated €6 million for six new features, also including Norwegian directors Bobbie Peers (Dirk Ohm - The Illusionist That Disappeared), Gunnar Vikene (Her er Harold), Bengt Hamer (1001 Grams), Katarina Launing (Kule kidz gråter ikke) and Eirik Svensson (Leo).
Set in 1874, Strindberg's battle-of-the-sexes has been adapted for the screen numerous directors, from Swedish director Anna Hofman-Uddgren in 1912, to UK director Mike Figgis in 1999 and US director Michael Margotta, most recently, in 2009.
Ullmann will herself write the screenplay for her updated costume drama, which will shoot from April 2 with a US-UK cast, headed by Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton, and Russian cinematographer Mikhail Krichman behind the camera.
Norwegian producer Synnøve Hørsdal will produce the €3.8 million feature for Norway's Maipo Film, with the UK's Apocalypse and France's Senorita as minority partners. Nordisk Film Distribusjon will be in charge of domestic release in the autumn 2014.
Ullmann signed her latest feature, Faithless, in 2000; on stage she directed Australian actors Cate Blanchett and Joel Edgerton in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, in Sydney and New York 2009. Most recently she was involved in Indian-UK director Dheeraj Akolkar's documentary Liv & Ingmar, about her relationship with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.
Next on her schedule is another New York stage production of a classic, Henrik Ibsen A Doll's House – in which she played an acclaimed Nora Helmer both in Oslo and on Broadway (1975); this time she will present her own translation. Her latest film role was German director Georg Maas' drama-thriller Two Lives, a return to the big screen after four years.
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