First Feature Teenage Jesus in Development

BRIEF. Marie Grahtø Sørensen's "Teenage Jesus" is among the 15 projects to pitch at L’Atelier, the Cannes Festival's co-production forum.

Marie Grahtø Sørensen's first-feature project, "Teenage Jesus," is selected for L'Atelier, the development programme at the Cannes Festival under the film school and talent section, Cinéfondation.

"Teenage Jesus" is a further development of "Teenland" (2014), Grahtø Sørensen's graduation film from the independent Super16 film school in Copenhagen. The project is one of fifteen potential new features whose filmmakers, while in Cannes, are offered meetings with industry professionals as a gateway to international financing.  

The story is about Viktoria, a celebrated psychologist. As a perfectionist she lives a pathologically controlled life. She is newly hired at a psychiatric ward for young women. Among them is Jenny, a violent and highly intelligent 18-year-old punk with a death wish. Viktoria blindly accepts the challenge to help Jenny, ultimately ending up putting her own sanity at risk. Through an intense psychological war the two women form a complicated and intimate bond. 

"I want to immerse the audience in the painful and beautiful experience of losing sanity to madness. Partly based on a true story, I have developed a straight narrative script. I want to experiment with the film’s language in terms of sound and imagery. The film must feel aggressive in its attempt to activate the audience and make them feel disturbed and frustrated, like the two main characters," says Marie Grahtø Sørensen.

Read the full storyline and director's intention at the Cannes Festival site.

The film is being developed with producer Amalie Lyngbo Quist of Beo Starling and is supported through the Danish Film Institute's talent programme New Danish Screen, Nordisk Film & TV Fund and Creative Europe.

Marie Grahtø Sørensen has been nominated for the Danish Fim Academy's Robert twice while in film school. She has travelled the festival circuit with her three short films "Daimi" (2012), "Yolo" (2013) and "Teenland" (2014), including Rotterdam, SXSW, Palm Springs and more.

Read about Cinéfondation L'Atelier

Watch trailer for graduation film Teenland