EXCLUSIVE: Oscar and Palme d’Or-winning Danish director Bille August (Pelle The Conqueror) is teaming up with U.S. producer David Brown’s fledgling outfit Clear Horizon on historical drama A War Of Their Own about two of the first women to serve as ambulance drivers on the front lines during WWI. Clear Horizon will co-produce and handle world sales at the AFM.
The film is inspired by the remarkable story of British women Mairi Chisholm and Elsie Knocker, who became nurses and ambulance drivers during World War One. The duo won numerous medals for bravery and saved many soldiers on the Western Front in Belgium. Chisolm first got the job as ambulance driver when she was spotted making hair-pin bends on her motorbike in London as a courier. After the war, despite failing health as a result of her exploits on the front, she briefly took up car racing.
Written by Kate Wood, Martin Dewitte (A Real Vermeer) and Antonino Lombardo (Brimstone) of Cine 3 are producing with Alice de Sousa (A Street Cat Named Bob) of Galleon Films and Priscilla Smith of Clear Horizon. Brown, an executive producer on the U.S. remake of After The Wedding, and the company’s president of production Giulia Prenna (The Collected) will be executive producers. Cast has yet to be set.
The film has been a passion project for August for a few years now. Most recently, the prolific filmmaker made 2018 Danish drama A Fortunate Man, which recorded 13 Danish Film Award nominations, and was acquired by Netflix for the U.S. His 2017 pic 55 Steps starred Helena Bonham Carter and Hilary Swank and was picked up by SPWA.
De Sousa said, “My fellow producers and I are pleased to be collaborating with Clear Horizon on this prestigious film which focuses on the often overlooked contribution that women made during the WWI, the war which was intended to end all wars.”
“As we build and expand our company, we look forward to working with international filmmakers of Bille’s caliber, so we can create projects for a wide variety of audiences in markets worldwide,” added Brown.
Clear Horizon is currently in production on The Collected, the third installment of the Collector franchise directed by Marcus Dunstan with Josh Stewart reprising his role. Brown launched Clear Horizon last year.
August is repped by CAA. Clear Horizon is repped by Michelle Chang of Ramo Law and Jonathan Shikora of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark.