Daniel Wagner’s BiFrost Pictures has announced that the company will finance and produce the feature film “The Swimmer” with Richard L. Fox attached to direct and Bard Ivar Engelsas as the screenwriter. The film is an official selection of the U.S.-Norway Film Development Project founded in 2011 by Lisa G. Black of Garnet Girl, LLC and Brandi Savitt of Senza Pictures. The Development Project is also in collaboration with Norway’s regional film funds.
The film will star Ben McKenzie, best known for his work on “Southland” and “The O.C.” Also starring in the film are two of Norway’s best-known actors, Agnes Kittelsen and Kristoffer Joner. They’ll be playing supporting roles opposite McKenzie. Wagner is producing the film along with Black and Savitt and their respective companies. Sweet Films AS of Norway is also acting as a producer.
“The Swimmer” tells the story of an American extreme swimmer who plans on taking on a humongous journey:
“The film centers on an American extreme swimmer (McKenzie) who embarks on a mission to conquer one of the wildest rivers in Norway – his personal Mt. Everest. But his journey proves that his true conquest is far more daunting than his swim; as he is faced to confront his inner demons and reconcile his past.”
Warner talked about the finding the film. “BiFrost has been looking at European co-productions for some time now, but when I read Bard’s script I immediately knew this was the one,” he said. “It is a compelling look into the world of extreme swimming, but also a story about family and what is most important in life. We look forward to working with Lisa and Brandi as we bring this picture to audiences around the world.”
“We are thrilled to have found a partner in BiFrost who understands our innovative approach to international co-ventures, and our mission to bring compelling narratives from Norway to audiences globally,” said Black and Savitt.
McKenzie also had some things to say about the film. “It’s a modern story, but timeless as well. Bard’s script really captivated me: a tortured man risking it all in a battle against nature. It’s themes evoke the spirit of Hemingway and London, and I couldn’t be more excited to shoot in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Norway.”
“The Swimmer” is scheduled to start principal photography in Northern Norway in June 2014.