Denmark’s first big-screen superhero has been born.
Jorn Rossing Jensen

11 Sep 2013 - 8:01 AM  UPDATED 11 Sep 2013 - 8:01 AM

When a 12-year-old boy gets bitten by an ant accidentally, he develops unimaginable powers: Denmark's first big-screen superhero was born. Antboy, Danish director Ask Hasselbalch's feature debut, takes action an TIFF Kids as one of the five children and family films from around the world selected for the Toronto International Film Festival (September 5-15).

Based on Danish author Kenneth Bøgh Andersen's books, Antboy follows Pelle from the time he discovers his magical force until - with help from his friend, a comic book nerd – he creates a secret identity as a superhero, and becomes a local crime fighter. When a super-villain, The Flea, enters the scene, Antboy must step up to the challenge.

Scripted by Anders Ølholm and produced by Eva Jakobsen, Lea Løbger and Birgitte Hald for Nimbus Film, Antboy stars Oscar Dietz (photo) as the hero against Nicolas Bro, the villain. SF Film handles Nordic distribution with an October 3 Danish premiere, and Canada's Attraction Distribution handles international sales.

“The first thing I thought when I started working on Antboy was 'Alright, I'm 10 years old now, what kind of movie would I like to see? What kind of movie wasn't around when I was 10? I knew I didn't want to make a film for children. I had to make the film for me instead of worrying about what others wanted to see.

“The point, above all, is to give people the same sense of adventure I got when I watched Batman and E.T. as a kid. Getting away from the realism that characterises so many superhero movies today and back into fantasy,” Hasselbach told the Danish Film Institute, which has supported the production.

Toronto is also screening Danish director Christoffer Boe's Sex, Drugs and Taxation in its Vanguard sidebar, challenging mainstream cinema with provocative and offbeat films. Depicting the friendship of Danish lawyer Mogens Glistrup, a radical libertarian, and the hedonist capitalist Simon Spies, the film scripted by Boe with Simon Pasternak starring Nicolas Bro and Pilou Asbæk was produced by Tine Grew Pfeiffer and Caroline Schlüter Bingestam for Alphaville Pictures; since its August 29 local premiere, it has reached 148,558 admissions domestically.

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