Ahead of its January 28th premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, production company Final Cut for Real announced Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau have joined the Danish animated documentary Flee as Executive Producers. Ahmed and Coster-Waldau will also voice the lead roles in an English language version of the film which will debut later this year.
Flee is produced by Final Cut for Real in co-production with animation studio Sun Creature, Denmark, Vivement Lundi!, France, MostFilm, Sweden, and Mer Film, Norway. ARTE France and Vpro, Nederland. The film is supported and produced in association with VICE Studios and RYOT Films and Ahmed’s Left Handed Films.
Originally selected for Cannes Film Festival 2020, Flee tells the story of Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym), a child refugee fleeing his home in Afghanistan to safety in Denmark. Recounted mostly through animation to director Jonas Poher Rasmussen — his close friend and high-school classmate, Amin tells for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey. Showing how only by confronting the past is it possible to carve out a future, and the universal truth that only when you stop fleeing from who you are can you find the true meaning of home. Ahmed will play Amin, while Coster-Waldau voices director Jonas Poher Rasmussen.
“I was floored by the emotional impact of Flee. This is a unique project that pushes forward our ideas of what documentary, animation, and refugee-centred narratives can be. I’m proud to help bring this project to life for English speaking audiences,” said Riz Ahmed.
Coster-Waldau says “When I watched Flee I was blown away by the power of a story told in a simple way. Flee is a story of extreme perseverance and hope where all hope seems lost. By using animation director Jonas Poher Rasmussen captures the intensity of one refugee’s unbelievable journey from the streets of Kabul to the Danish suburbia. Because Amin is able to tell his story hidden behind his animated avatar it feels so much more revealing and honest than had it been a standard filmed interview. I am incredibly proud to be a part of Flee and will encourage everyone to experience this gem of a film.”
Flee is directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, written by Jonas Poher Rasmussen and Amin Nawabi. It is edited by Janus Billeskov Jansen whose notable works include the Oscar®-nominated The Hunt (2013), Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing (2012), Yance Ford’s Oscar®-nominated Strong Island (2017), and Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round (2020) the Danish entry for the 93rd Academy Awards.
The film is Produced by Monica Hellström (The Distant Barking of Dogs) and two-time Oscar® nominee Signe Byrge Sørensen (The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence), for Final Cut for Real (Denmark). Art Director Jess Nicholls, Animation Director Kenneth Ladekjær, and Animation producer Charlotte De La Gournerie for Sun Creature Studio. Co-Produced by Jean-François Le Corre, Mathieu Courtois for Vivement Lundi !, France, Charlotte Most for MostFilm, Sweden & Maria Ekerhovd for Mer Film, Norway. Natalie Farrey, Jannat Gargi, and Danny Gabai executive produce for VICE Studios. Philippa Kowarsky is Executive Producer for Cinephil. While Hayley Pappas and Matt Ippolito executive produce for RYOT Films.
Flee will premiere in the World Documentary competition at the Sundance film festival on Thursday, January 28th. International Sales will be handled by Cinephil, while 30WEST will handle North American Sales.
Synopsis: Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym), a 36-year-old high-achieving academic, grapples with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years, one that threatens to derail the life he has built for himself and his soon to be husband. Recounted mostly through animation to director Jonas Poher Rasmussen — his close friend and high-school classmate, he tells for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan. Through heartfelt interviews between Jonas and Amin, FLEE tells an unforgettable story of self-discovery. Showing how only by confronting the past is it possible to carve out a future, and the universal truth that only when you stop fleeing from who you are can you find the true meaning of home.
Sundance 2021 runs from January 28 – February 3, 2021, for more festival announcements and to stream films online and purchase tickets, visit How To Fest at Sundance.org. Follow Carolyn on social media at @CarrieCnh12 and #SHWHSundance for So Here’s What Happened! at Sundance festival coverage.