The Promised Land (Bastarden), a Danish historical drama starring Mads Mikkelsen that filmed in Prague and other locations in the Czech Republic in 2022, will play in competition at this year’s Venice International Film Festival, which will take place from August 30 through September 8, festival organizers revealed this week.
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel, The Promised Land went through a few English-language title changes during its production, originally titled King’s Land and then The Bastard. It tells the true story of Danish soldier and explorer Ludvig Kahlen, who explored and cultivated Denmark’s wild Jutland, which now comprises the vast majority of the country, in the mid-1700s.
Mikkelsen stars in the leading role of the famed Danish explorer. The Promised Land co-stars Amanda Collin (Raised by Wolves), Magnus Krepper (Queen of Hearts), Simon Bennebjerg (Borgen), Gustav Lindh (The Northman), Kristine Kujath Thorp (Ninjababy), Morten Hee Andersen (Margrete: Queen of the North), Jacob Lohmann (Riders Of Justice), and Felix Kramer (Dark).
The 80th edition of the Venice film fest features a packed lineup, and The Promised Land will have some stiff competition as it competes for top honors. New films by David Fincher (The Killer), Yorgos Lanthimos (Poor Things), Michael Mann (Ferrari), Ava DuVernay (Origin), Bradley Cooper (Maestro), Luc Besson‘s (Dogman), and Sofia Coppola (Priscilla) are among the 23 titles competing in Venice this year.
The Czech co-production The Green Border, which tells the story of refugees at the border between Poland and Belarus and was directed by Agnieszka Holland, will also play in competition at the 2023 Venice International Film Festival.
While The Promised Land faces tough competition at Venice, it comes with some high pedigree. Director Arcel’s 2012 historical drama A Royal Affair, which was also shot on location in the Czech Republic, scored an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
In the Czech Republic, The Promised Land filmed at locations including Jaroměřice in the Pardubice Region, Ralsko near Liberec, Libochovice in the Ústí nad Labem Region, and the Zvánovický potok stream in Central Bohemia.
Star Mikkelsen was reportedly a big fan of Prague’s Korean cuisine while shooting in the Czech Republic, and dined at Korean BBQs in the city center on multiple occasions.
According to distributor Film Europe, The Promised Land will debut in Czech cinemas at the beginning of 2024 after seeing release in Denmark in September following its Venice premiere.