Lone Scherfig filming ensemble drama in Toronto, New York and Copenhagen

IN PRODUCTION. Lone Scherfig and production company Creative Alliance have commenced shooting for the director's next drama, which is Scherfig's first Danish-produced film in ten years. A Russian restaurant in New York provides the main backdrop for the ensemble drama featuring an international cast.

Lone Scherfig
Director Lone Scherfig. Photo: Giles Keytes

The team behind Lone Scherfig's upcoming feature film has come together in Toronto to start shooting the Danish director's ensemble drama about a group of lonely individuals whose paths cross in a Russian restaurant in New York. After Toronto, the team will be moving on to New York and Copenhagen.

The untitled drama, previously announced as 'Secrets from the Russian Tea Room,' is Scherfig's first Danish-produced film since 'Just like Home' (2007). Producing the film is the Copenhagen-based company Creative Alliance, co-founded by Scherfig in 2013 together with a number of other prominent Danish directors and producers. 

The film, with a script by Scherfig, is described as a modern fairy-tale and unfolds in an opulent Russian restaurant in the heart of New York City. A group of people are going through the worst crises of their lives, with the restaurant serving as the backdrop for story unfolding over the course of several months.

The characters include: Clara, a young mother trying to avoid her abusive husband; Alice, a shy nurse who has found her true vocation; Mark, an ex-con turned restaurant manager; Jeff, a young man in desperate need of a job; John Peter, a lawyer  with high ethics but low self-esteem; and finally Timofey, the owner of the restaurant and the grandson of Russian immigrants. 

Scherfig has gathered a team of actors known from European and American cinema:

Zoe Kazan (Clara), Andrea Riseborough (Alice), Tahar Rahim (Mark), Caleb Landry Jones (Jeff), Jay Baruchel (John) and finally Bill Nighy (Timofey), who also featured in Scherfig's latest film, 'Their Finest Hour'. Danish actors include Esben Smed and David Dencik.

Cinematographer is Sebastian Blenkov, who also shot Scherfig's two latest projects, 'Their Finest Hour' and 'The Riot Club.' Other key functions include production designer Carol Spier, costume designer Louize Nissen and composer Mark Korvin.

Malene Blenkov is producing for Creative Alliance and Strada Films in Canada, and the film is co-produced with France, Germany and Sweden. It is supported by the Danish Film Institute and has also received funding from, among others, DR TV and Copenhagen Film Fund.

Hanway Films is handling international sales. The domestic premiere is not yet set.