January 28, 2017
“Darkland,” Fenar Ahmad’s high-concept sophomore outing about a surgeon-turned-avenger, is proving a hit in Denmark, ranking first at the local box office since bowing on Jan. 19.
Released by Scanbox Entertainment, “Darkland” opened on top with an estimated 387,000 Euros from 43,000 tickets sold during its first weekend in theaters and has maintained the number one slot since then.
“Darkland” stars Dar Salim (“Exodus,””Game of Thrones”) as Zaid, a successful surgeon who has it all and sets off to avenge the murder of his brother and bring down all the criminal gangs in Copenhagen. But Zaid’s persistent battle results in serious consequences for himself and his family, including his pregnant girlfriend.
The film’s strong Scandinavian cast is completed by Stine Fischer Christensen (“After the Wedding”), Roland Møller (“Land of Mine”), and Dulfi Al-Jabouri (“A War”).
Ahmad’s 2014 feature debut, “Flow” competed at CPH Pix and was nominated at the Bodil Awards (Denmark’s equivalent to the Oscars). His short “Megaheavy” competed at Berlin in 2010.
“Darkland”s producer, Jacob Jarek, who co-founded Profile Pictures, said he could see from Ahmad’s first feature and from his shorts, that he had a “strong vision and visual talent.”
“With this film (Ahmad) and his co-writer Adam August have crafted an extremely visionary, well-told, entertaining and topical story that has resonated very well with audiences because it is an action-thriller that feels fresh and comes from an honest place,” said Jarek, whose production credits also include Jens Dahl’s upcoming thriller “3 Things” and Ali Abbasi’s “Shelley.”
“Fenar Ahmad is a director to watch — he has reinvented a little bit the Dogma style and shows that you can make amazing films for reasonable budgets,” said Rikke Ennis, CEO at TrustNordisk.
TrustNordisk, which handles international sales on the movie, has already closed a flurry of deals, including Studiocanal in the U.K., Gaga in Japan, DD Dream in China and Euromedia in Turkey. TrustNordisk will unveil further deals in Berlin.
Like most movies from up-and-coming local helmers, “Darkland” was backed by the Danish Film Institute and DR. Scanbox Entertainment has holds distribution rights for “Darkland” in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Thor Sigurjonsson, Ditte Milsted, and Caroline Schlüter Bingestam exec produced the film.