The Danish Film Institute, which hands out millions in state subsidies to new Danish film projects, has declined to support a children’s film because members of the cast were non-Danish.
In declining to support the children’s film “MGP Mission” the Institute wrote on October 6, 2011 that it found the film was both “well-intentioned and sympathetic”, according to Information which has obtained a copy of the letter.
But the Institute goes on to say that it does not see ‘enough potential in reaching a broader family segment’ adding: “Further, a film with a cast composed of people of a non-Danish ethnic background has shown itself not to be particularly saleable in the provinces”.
“For us in Copenhagen it is natural to describe a multi-ethnic/cultural environment, but in the provinces it is unfortunately not,” the Institute says in rejecting support to the film.
Neither the director and producer of ASA Film Henrik Møller-Sørensen, nor Director Martin Miehe-Renard have wanted to comment on the rejection.
“I can only say that we believe in the story and feel it is so good that it does not matter what colour skin the actors have. It is a musical film that targets both children and adults and we believe it has a wide target group,” Møller-Sørensen tells Information.
The Danish Film Institute Director of Production and Development Claus Ladegaard admits that the wording in the letter is “very, very unfortunate”.
“It is not a legitimate reason, nor do I think that it is a proper one and I am sorry that it has appeared in a rejection letter at all,” Ladegaard says.
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Edited by Julian Isherwood