Local big budget fantasy adaptions are slowly making its way into Nordic cinemas; The Shamer’s Daughter has done well in Denmark and is opening in two days in Norway.
Following the Norwegian Journey to the Christmas Star remake in 2012, the 6.7 million euro Danish fantasy film The Shamer’s Daughter is the next big budget Nordic fantasy film to make its theatrical way into the hearts and minds of children and young teens. The film, which premiered in its home country Denmark on March 26, is based on the first book in the bestselling book-series The Shamer Chronicles, written by author Lene Kaaberbøl, whose books have been published in more than 25 countries worldwide. It’s Norwegian theatrical premiere will be on May 1st and in Sweden the film opens on May 31st.
The Kenneth Kainz directed story, which is set in a Medieval environment with dragons and supernatural powers, revolves around Dina, who has unwillingly inherited her mother’s special ability. She can look straight into the soul of other people, making them feel ashamed of themselves. When the sole heir to the throne is wrongfully accused of the horrible murders of his family, Dina’s mother is lured to Dunark under false pretenses to make him confess. Neglecting to use her ability for the wrong purposes, she is taken prisoner. It is now up to Dina to uncover the truth of the murders, but soon she finds herself whirled into a dangerous power struggle with her own life at risk.
-This is a unique project from one of the best authors in the fantasy/adventure genre. A bestseller, written for the screen by Anders Thomas Jensen. We look forward to the co-operation with the visionary and ambitious producers […] on this Scandinavian adventure film. We have high expectations for its international potential, said Rikke Ennis, CEO at TrustNordisk, the sales company. So far, so good regarding the sales; The Shamer’s Daughter is one of a small handful of Nordic fantasy features, but the lack of tradition did not seem to prevent Danish audiences from flocking to the cinemas. 160.000 tickets were sold in the first 3 weeks, but more tickets are to be sold as the film has also been sold to the rest of Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, China, Turkey, Cyprus, South America, Bulgaria, the Middle East, Russia/CIS, Estonia, Former Yugoslavia, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.
-A Danish fantasy universe is not commonplace in Danish cinemas, but The Shamer’s Daughter has everything you could want from the genre, and it does live up to the high expectations that the thousands of readers of Lene Kaaberbøl’s book series has to the movie experience. When even experienced film reviewers draws a direct parallel to very popular international fantasy series such as Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, it’s hard for a film distributor to ask for more. With the story of Dina, we have [prepared] lots of dragons, magic and an adventurous atmosphere, said Jan Lehmann, director of Nordisk Film Distribution.
The Shamer’s Daughter has been reviewed from average to great by Danish media. It was rated 3 of 6 points by JyllandsPosten and Politiken, 4 of 6 points by Ekko, Søndagsavisen, Berlingske and P1 Filmland, and 5 of 6 points by BT, EkstraBladet, CinemaOnline, P4 and others, with an average rating of 4.4 from 18 media reviews.
The film was shot in Denmark, Iceland and The Czech Republic and stars a Scandinavian cast of Rebecca Emilie Sattrup, Petra Maria Scott, Allan Hyde, Søren Malling, Roland Møller and Peter Plaugborg from Denmark, Jakob Oftebro and Maria Bonnevie from Norway, and Stina Ekblad from Sweden.