Tobias Lindholm was still in film school, when Thomas Vinterberg hired the young talent to write his social-realist drama "Submarino". The film was selected for competition in Berlin and won the Nordic Council Film Prize in 2010.
The partnership was so successful that Vinterberg didn't skip a beat before hiring Lindholm for his next film, "The Hunt", a drama about a kindergarten teacher (Mads Mikkelsen) who is falsely accused of assaulting a young girl. The film won three awards at Cannes, and Lindholm and Vinterberg were jointly named Best European Screenwriter at the European Film Awards. Not released in Denmark until early 2013, "The Hunt" had the best opening weekend of any Danish drama in the last 10 years.
Now the duo is continuing their partnership in "The Commune", Vinterberg's new film chronicling his childhood of communal living in the 1970s and 1980s. The screenplay is based on Vinterberg's stage play of the same name performed in Vienna in 2011.
Vinterberg and Lindholm are both products of the National Film School of Denmark, though of different generations. Vinterberg graduated from the directing programme in 1993 and became an international star in 1998, at age 29, when his Dogme film "The Celebration" won the Jury Prize at Cannes. Lindholm, who graduated from the screenwriting programme in 2007, was recently named one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch.
Like a cycling team
As a writer, Lindholm has worked on the series "Borgen" and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen's upcoming "The Hour of the Lynx". With Michael Noer, he wrote and directed the prison drama "R". He followed up with a solo effort, the realistic pirate drama "A Hijacking", which premiered in Venice and has won numerous awards.
Vinterberg and Lindholm have likened their partnership to a cycling team, where each takes his turn in the lead. After extended concept development, one of them writes a 10-page draft without looking back. The pace has to be high, so they can write with their gut and not analyse the story to death. Then, the front man sends the copy to his co-writer, who edits the draft with a cool head.