20. February 2012

A Royal Affair, from Danish director Nikolaj Arcel, recently received two awards at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival. A European co-production, A Royal Affair filmed in spring 2011 primarily in the Czech Republic employing Czech film professionals and using Czech locations to recreate 18th century Denmark. Mikkel Boe Følsgaard was named Best Actor for his role in the film while Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg received the Silver Bear for Best Script. A Royal Affair saw its world premiere February 16 in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film is a Zentropa Entertainments (Denmark) production. Co-producers are Sirena Film (Czech Republic), Trollhättan Film (Sweden) and Zentropa Entertainments (Germany). A Royal Affair shot 40 days in the Czech Republic, mainly on live locations, and spent EUR 2.7 million -- almost half its total budget -- in the country. The project benefitted from the Czech Republic’s Film Industry Support Programme, which grants qualified projects a 20% rebate on their local production costs, and received funding from the Czech State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography. While the Czech rebate played a significant role in the project’s financing, Zentropa producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen said Czech professionals’ skills and experience on big-budget productions were the key factors in deciding to shoot in Prague.  “We have no tradition of working with big, spectacular historical films in Denmark,” Jensen told Screen International in May.  “We came to get knowledge we couldn’t find locally in Scandinavia.” Jensen founded Zentropa in 1992 with director Lars von Trier. The company has produced more than 70 films, including Dogville (2003), Antichrist (2009) and Melancholia (2011). A Royal Affair stars popular Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, best known to international audiences for his role in Casino Royale, which shot in the Czech Republic in 2006. The screenplay is the work of director Arcel and Heisterberg, who also collaborated on the script for the international hit The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. A Royal Affair is based on historical events in 18th century Denmark and centers on a love triangle between German physician Johann Struensee (Mikkelsen), his schizophrenic patient King Christian VII (Følsgaard), and Christian’s English-born Queen Caroline Mathilda. A Royal Affair will see its Danish premiere in March and has secured distribution in the US and Australia.