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KAREN BLIXEN’S EHRENGARD ADAPTS INTO NETFLIX FEATURE FILM DIRECTED BY BILLE AUGUST

KAREN BLIXEN’S EHRENGARD ADAPTS INTO NETFLIX FEATURE FILM DIRECTED BY BILLE AUGUST

August 31, 2021 - Today Netflix announced Ehrengard, a new Danish Netflix feature film directed by Academy Award, Golden Globe and two-time Palme d’Or winner Bille August. The film is based on Ehrengard, one of the last works of Karen Blixen (1885-1962). Anders August is the scriptwriter and Marcella Dichmann at SF Studios is producing. The project has been developed over the last decade by Jacob Jørgensen and JJ Film.

In the fairytale kingdom of Babenhausen, a young, self-appointed expert on love, Cazotte, is hired by the scheming Grand Duchess to help her secure an heir. While searching for a suitable future Princess, Cazotte teaches the timid and introverted Crown Prince the art of seduction and lovemaking. But their plan soon backfires, when an heir is conceived out of wedlock and the royal family has to seek refuge in the castle of Rosenbad. Here, as rivals within the royal family close in on their scheme, Cazotte himself falls in love with Ehrengard, the maid of honour, and gradually learns that in fact, he’s no expert on love at all.

Ehrengard will feature set design by Queen Margrethe II. Since 1970, The Queen has been actively engaged in a number of artistic modes of expression: painting, church textiles, watercolours, prints, book illustrations, découpage works, scenography and embroidery. She is an honorary member of the Association of Danish Scenographers for her many years of work as a set designer in Danish film, television and theater.

Bille August, director, says: “Ehrengard being realized as a Netflix film is a grand opportunity - and I'm really looking forward to introducing this fascinating story of seduction and desire to a global audience. The Queen has created the most fantastic decoupages for the occasion, and they will be the dominant feature of the film’s overall scenographic expression. ”Fantastic” (in the most literal sense) is our starting point for the film; we wish to use humour and elegance to create a devil-may-care, burlesque, fabulous and autonomous visual universe.”

Queen Margrethe II: “Karen Blixen’s stories have always fascinated me, with their aesthetic tales, their imagination and their, to me, image-creating worlds - and I’m very happy to be part of this project. You can feel that the author was a visual artist just like H.C. Andersen. But who is Ehrengard? One of Karen Blixen’s intriguing female characters and one of the few whose story ends happily. The intrigues weave themselves in and out of each other and Blixen spins her spin around the characters until we (and they) are completely nonplussed. How will the riddle be solved? I have tried to interpret Blixen’s fantastic universe in the creation of the découpages and costumes and I’m looking forward to seeing the tale of Ehrengard come to life in this film.”

Lina Brounéus, director co-production & acquisition EMEA at Netflix: “I am proud and thrilled to bring Ehrengard to life on Netflix. With such a strong creative team in Bille August and Anders August, our close partners SF Studios producing combined with the extraordinary decoupages from Queen Margrethe II, I feel confident that this timeless tale will be just as epic, ingenious and witty as Karen Blixen’s masterpiece from 1962.” 

Marcella Dichmann, producer: “I am deeply honoured to be part of this wonderful project, about a woman's clever response to male seduction. Bille August is an icon of Scandinavian film and together with the decoupages created by Queen Margrethe II, the vision is strong for this film. For me it is an amazing privilege working with this film and together with Netflix being able to share it globally.”

Creative team:

Based on: Ehrengard by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen)

Director: Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror, The Best Intentions) 

Scriptwriter: Anders August (A Fortunate Man, Follow the Money, The Pig) 

Set design: Queen Margrethe II

Producer: Marcella Dichmann / SF Studios (Loving Adults, The Exception)

Co-producer: Jacob Jørgensen / JJ Film

Executive producers: Lars Bjørn Hansen and Tim King / SF Studios

Ehrengard will release globally on Netflix in 2023. www.netflix.com/ehrengard

About Karen Blixen

Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke is one of Denmark’s most internationally recognized female poets, author and storyteller. She wrote both under her own name and under the pseudonyms Isak Dinesen, Osceola and Pierre Andrézel. She is mostly known for the works Seven Gothic Tales, Winter-Fairytale and Out of Africa. Ehrengard was published posthumously a year after the author’s death in 1962. Among her most famous stories is also the tale Babette’s Feast about a cook girl, who uses all of her ten-thousand-franc lottery winnings to prepare a lavish meal in a small northern Norwegian village. The tale The Undying Story was filmed in 1968 by Orson Welles and Babette’s Feast in 1987 by Gabriel Axel. Likewise, Out of Africa starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford was filmed in 1986 by Sydney Pollack and won 7 Oscars.

About SF Studios

SF Studios, established in 1919, is one of the world’s oldest film companies. Today SF Studios is the leading film studio in the Nordic region with its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden and offices in Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki and London. The company is producing and distributing feature films and TV series as well as providing the streaming service SF Anytime. SF Studios is part of the leading Nordic media company Bonnier.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 209 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Malin Lindborn

PR Director

mlindborn@netflix.com