Oscar winning Norwegian studio Mikrofilm has revealed it will co-produce with Xilam Films (France) and Knudsen Pictures (Germany) the animated romantic folk horror Pesta, which was pitched at the Frontières Platform during Marche du Film in Cannes. The project, now in development with support from the Norwegian Film Institute and three other Norwegian funds, is seeking European co-development financing.
Conceived by Mikrofilm filmmaker and project director Hanne Berkaak, the story is inspired by “Norwegian folklore, Medieval gore, contemporary Nordic horror, and tales of young, forbidden love.”
Set in Norway during The Black Death, Pesta is a haunting romantic horror film about a pious, noble girl Astrid (18), who falls in love with the pagan outlaw Eilev (18), whose blood is thought to hold a cure for the deadly disease. When Eilev is captured, Astrid faces a devastating dilemma: lose him or become the monster she fears most – the plague itself: Pesta.
“We are delighted to have Xilam and Knudsen Pictures on board for Pesta,” said Mikrofilm producers Lise Fearnley and Tonje Skar Reiersen. “Both companies represent artistic integrity, innovation, and commitment to quality. Their expertise in international financing and distribution is invaluable for Pesta and will enable us to create a grand cinematic experience with broad international appeal.”
“We are beyond excited to be part of Pesta!” added Knudsen Pictures CEO Kristine Knudsen. “A Nordic, animated genre film – what’s not to love? Telling a story about hope in times of crisis to a young adult audience is meaningful and inspiring. With a strong female director and an all-female pan-European producing team, I can’t wait to get started and to bring this gem to German-speaking audiences!”
In development, the film is slated to start production financing next year.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.