Join the league of white pigs

- Interview with director David Noel Bourke

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“The script White Pig tells the story of Jens, a disturbed racist, hell-bent and on a destructive murderous path. He is temporarily diverted, not by the police, but by the love of a young innocent girl, Anna. All the while, a frustrated but very passionate policewoman Mia and her young male partner investigate and edge closer to the couple. The mind games and tension mount, ending with Mia and Jens forever tied together in an unbelievable disturbing turn of events.”

In this way, the Irish-Danish director David Noel Bourke describes his new feature film project. Bourke lives in Denmark with his Danish wife. He is an independent filmmaker and has, until now, written and directed the two feature films Last Exit (2003) and No Right Turn (2009). At the moment he is trying to raise money for his next film White Pig, which will be one of the very few crowd funded film produced in Denmark. Crowd funding is a financial method where the public pay a little sum of money in order to get a certain project done.

Crowd funding is not an effortless financial road to travel and the decision was not at all easy to make for Bourke and his producer. “My producer Tine Mosegaard and I decided to open up this film project to the public after much thought and deliberation. We asked a simple question: Why should the traditional way of financing movies be the only way?” This question goes back to Bourke’s general experience with the official Danish channels for film funding. For years now he has been a voice from the indie scene with a sturdy critique of primarily the Danish film establishment.

Regarding film funding, Bourke underlines that this is a basic motivation for the economical backdrop of White Pig: “Getting financing for a small and personal independent film like this the traditional way involves a complex long process, where the big money people take over the whole project, the casting choices, locations, script decisions, etc.”, he says. “And it is just slow and difficult even more so in Scandinavia.” This may be a reason why we, at present, see Danish amateur, low-budget cinema turning more and more professional and upright indie. And for Bourke the pressure from the establishment is an important incentive to go – with his own term – guerrilla style. Financing the project through crowd funding is even more guerrilla than his former films.

Bourke questions the presence of the elementary creative process when going through the ‘usual’ processes into film production in Denmark. “In the last few years, we have experienced that film funding can kill an artists soul, destroy their creativity and hope. So we decided: enough is enough! We don't want to lose our vital artistic control, as we want no compromises at all for this film, no more waiting. We need this film be the best, we want to bypass the big studios, bypass the big money people and go directly to the public. This is our lifeblood, our call. And we hope the public can help, even a little.”

Right now, with some twenty days to go, Bourke’s project funding through the webpage has climbed above €3.000. The goal is €25.000. In other words, slowly and steadily the project is getting closer to realization. However, the film will be made whether or not Bourke reaches his financial goal. “Every little bit of the money we receive will go up on the screen as production value. It will also be channelled to our most dedicated and hard working cast and crew to get us over the line”, says Bourke.

For two reasons, Bourke feels that his timing is right for producing the film just now. “Firstly, I have been waiting all my life to make this. The central theme and general content of the script is too important, too exciting, too relevant to let the big money people get their hands on it and water it down – or indeed try lock it away. Many folk don’t want this film to be made as the theme could be seen as very dangerous and very sensitive material. But this film needs to be made and we want to make this film on our own terms, stylish, atmospheric, moody, edgy, brave and be a real slice of a true independent filmmaking,” says Bourke.

Secondly, the film has its thematic background in a very recent Scandinavian catastrophe. Two years ago, Norway lost its innocence when Anders Behring Breivik shot and killed 69 people on the small island Utøya. For Bourke, this attack is a renewed enticement for getting the story out. “Though, this does not make the film. I was, however, spurred on to make this after the horror, shock and downright disbelief of the mass murder massacre in Norway. The whole incident opened up lot of discussion on how such a disturbed individual can exist. And yet he does and so do others. Our film explores this. As a writer, it directly influenced the character of Jens in White Pig in many ways. He is molded of similar disturbed mentality”. However, White Pig will not be a biopic of Breivik. Bourke stresses that the story is its own with a specific interest in the mind of a disturbed man.

White Pig is an interesting Danish independent film project in the making and it will quite certainly be the only film produced in Denmark through crowd funding this year. A voice from film production, Peter Sølvsten from Angel Films, has promised the project €2.000 to secure the rights to manage sales of the film if the number of crowd funders goes 60. And if all goes well, Bourke and Mosegaard aim to shoot in October this year. The production schedule is five weeks. They hope to have the film ready for CPH:PIX 2014.

Visit the website INDIEGOGO in order to contribute to the film’s campaign. And read an interview with the director about his second feature with No Right Turn here or a review of No Right Turn here.

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