If there’s one truth that sustains across borders, oceans and cultures it’s this: growing up in the suburbs sucks. Given the choice between little to do and fewer places to go, many teens while away their adolescence loitering in the halls of malls. A group on the edge of Copenhagen, however, has instead taken to a train.
Chugging along the coastline, the S-train provides a hangout that doesn’t discriminate. The result is a multicultural society on the move, a mix of Danish and ethnic youth from all walks of life. And, like its stationary equivalent, this mixture breeds both understanding and conflict.
In 110% Suburbia, Copenhagen-based Koncern TV will follow a group of these teens for one year. The filming will begin next month as they prepare for final exams, and will go on to capture their search for an identity as they make crucial decisions about the future. Cropping up along the way are typical teenage rights of passage, such as falling in love and battling with parents.
110% Suburbia will premiere as a 10 x 30-minute TV series on TV2 Denmark and will also screen in cinemas as a 90-minute feature. But, ticket holders will not suffer repackaged goods. Instead, the TV series will end with a cliff-hanger that’s resolved in the theatrical film, which will hit theatres as the last episode airs.
Denmark’s Nordisk Film is distributing the US$1.5 million project, which is being produced by Thomas Heurlin and directed by Jesper Jack, Mette-Ann Scheperlern, Vibe Mogensen and Anja Hauberg.
Just when suburbia looked remote, Koncern turned its cameras on Esbjerg, a tiny fishing village on Denmark’s west coast. Here, the Viking lifeboat factory has long provided a living for men and women, young and old. But, when the company announces a new factory will be starting up in Thailand, layoffs loom and people’s futures are put into question.
Shooting for Blue Collar White Christmas began in December 2001 and follows four of Viking’s workers: Kragelund, 35 and a Viking employee for the past 11 years; Tobiesen, a newcomer at 27 years of age; Lotte, a 14-year veteran of Viking; and Lotte’s closest friend, Diana. Running 80 minutes and carrying a budget of approximately US$520,000, the production is set to wrap in May 2004. Denmark’s Lynx Media is distributing and Danish pubcaster DR1 is already on board. KB