Prolific Danish director Kaspar Astrup Schröder is hatching a new Larry Clark-style documentary about female skateboarders in Copenhagen.
Don’t Give A Fox, as the film is called, explores the new skateboarding craze among younger women in Denmark. “It is going to be a pretty, dynamic, crazy film,” Schröder says of the documentary, which is supported by DR and The Danish Film Institute. The skateboarders, aged 18 to 28, film their own stunts with cell phones. They’re rebellious and hedonistic.
The director, an experienced skateboarder himself, has his own board and camera and will shoot at least part of the film. “Skateboarding has always been the boys’ sport. It has never been girls doing it, but in the last few years it has become popular and these girls are pushing it,” he says. Schröder will follow a group of these as they skate, drink and party. The film is being made through his production company, Good Company Pictures.
On a quieter, more intimate note, Schröder is also very close to completing a new documentary (as yet untitled) about two autistic female twins. The film, which he has been working on for three years, is described by its director as a coming-of-age story and is set to launch at a festival early next year.
“They are pretty much the same when they are 11 years old. They think the same, they say the same things, they like the same things. Then they grow up and turn out to be complete opposites,” the director explains. “It’s a small story about finding yourself in the world.” One of the two becomes introverted, depressed and wants always to be alone. The other is “the complete opposite” but gets sad about her sister’s plight.
Here at IDFA, Schröder is presenting his latest feature doc Big Time (sold by Autlook), which profiles high-flying young Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. The director spent six years on Big Time, which was pitched in the IDFA Forum and follows Ingels from when he was a “nobody in Copenhagen” to becoming a “big hotshot in New York.” It shows the pressure that comes with celebrity and success. “It’s like a rock star in a band. They only want to see the lead singer. He put himself in that position,” the director says of the stress the architect now faces to keep clients happy. “It’s more about the man trying to conquer the world and becoming so caught up in his success he forgets himself and becomes sick,” the director explains. Big Time recently premiered at the Chicago Festival and is being released in North America by Mongrel Media.
Schröder has also been part of the team pitching Kids on the Silk Road at this year’s IDFA Forum. This series looks at the lives of children in countries along the route of the old Silk Road. Each film is 25 minutes long and focuses on a subject who has “taken destiny in his or her own hands, wanting something other than what is expected,” as Schröder puts it. He will be directing the next four episodes. The first, to be shot in Beijing, looks at a boy who loves traditional Chinese opera.