HCA NEWS Four million Danish crowns to Bille August film

The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation has decided to support Danish film director Bille August to the tune of DKK four million for his upcoming feature film on the Danish fairy tale writer.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 19 March 2003

The board of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation decided on Tuesday to donate DKK four million to support Bille August's upcoming major film on Hans Christian Andersen. The money is earmarked for film development - i.e., for research, manuscript development and casting the film's international stars.

"We are very happy to ensure the development of the major international film on Hans Christian Andersen that Bille August is about to commence. We believe that Bille August is the right man to make a film that will truly promote familiarity with, perhaps, our most famous author," says chairman of the board for the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation and Odense mayor Anker Boye.

The four million Danish crowns from the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation will be the first fundamental platform upon which the film will rest, because it will finance an international class screenplay. With that in hand, Bille August will have an easier time attracting major international stars to the film and only when they have said yes is the way clear for ultimate financing.

"I imagine really big stars for the roles. For example, people like Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore. If you have names like that, there is no problem raising capital," says Bille August.

A man of contrasts
For Bille August, the near future will be preoccupied with the search for the right screenwriter who can produce a manuscript of a very high international quality, not just a historical costume drama.

"I have always been fascinated by the fact that Hans Christian Andersen was a man of contrasts. Very naïve and childish, but at the same time incredibly profound. I also find it interesting that he denied his social origins in the working class, while in his art, he always displayed solidarity with the poor and the weak. He used his imagination has a curative and as something that could give his life meaning. The most important thing for me, therefore, is to recreate that psychological universe in the film. If we can reach into the central part of that, the surroundings need not have such great significance," says Bille August.

Bille is best
Secretary General for Hans Christian Andersen 2005, Lars Seeberg, is also pleased with the choice of Bille August and the upcoming film project, which will be a cornerstone of the international celebration of Hans Christian Andersen's 200th birthday in 2005.

"We received many offers after our visit to Cannes last year, but none of them were right. Suddenly, in a chance meeting with Bille August, we discovered that, of course, he was the one for the film," says Lars Seeberg.

The four million Danish crowns from the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation will be supplemented by 50,000 Euro, which Bille August will receive in the form of the City of Odense's Hans Christian Andersen Prize. The prize is prospective and is awarded to an artist who will promote familiarity with Hans Christian Andersen.

Thus, Bille August will receive the prize for his commitment to the planning of a major film on Hans Christian Andersen. The City of Odense's Hans Christian Andersen Prize will be awarded at Odense Theater on April 2 this year on the occasion of the author's 198th birthday.