Bille August filming in July

IN PRODUCTION. Director Bille August is warming up to his first Danish production in years, "The Ballad of Marie", a drama about Marie Krøyer and her unhappy marriage with the great Danish painter P.S. Krøyer.

Shooting starts in July for Bille August's new film with the working title "The Ballad of Marie". The film is August's first production that takes place in Denmark since his international breakthrough from 1988, "Pelle the Conqueror", which enjoyed a triple victory by winning the Palme d'Or, a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

"The Ballad of Marie" centers on the relationship between two famous figures in Danish art history: P.S. Krøyer, a member of the Skagen Painters from the late 1800s, who gathered in the northernmost part of Denmark to take advantage of the quality of light and the realist subjects of the local fishermen, and his wife Marie, herself a painter and featured in many of Krøyer's paintings.

The film sets off as Marie and P.S. Krøyer's marriage is suffering under the weight of Krøyer's deteriorating mental health. Marie is torn between her role as mother and wife and her role as artist, and she witnesses her husband falling prey to the debilitating effects of his illness. As she travels to Sweden to regain her strength, she falls head over heals in love with the Swedish composer Hugo Alfvén.

Scriptwriter is Peter Asmussen who has co-scripted films such as Lars von Trier's "Breaking the Waves" and several of Simon Staho's films. Signe Leick Jensen and Karin Trolle produce for SF Film. The film has received production support from the Danish Film Institute.

"The Ballad of Marie" is scheduled for domestic release in August 2012.