Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson Q&A: ‘Silent Nights’
“It was very exciting” recalls producer Kim Magnusson during our recent webcam chat (watch above) when asked about his Oscar nomination for the short film “Silent Nights.” Set over the holiday season, the film tells the story of a Danish volunteer worker (Malene Beltoft Olsen) who falls in love with a homeless refuge from Ghana (Prince Yaw Appiah). Magnusson shares this bid with the film’s writer-director Aske Bang.
Bang got the idea from his father, Ib Kastrup. The two wrote a script that was, “inspired by the streets,” he recalls, “and the area of Copenhagen where we live, where there’s a lot of illegal immigrants in the streets collecting bottles because they can’t get jobs.” Starting with an interracial love story, the two, “had to figure out how to write a dramatic story, and give them some problems, so that it’s difficult for them to actually get each other, like Romeo and Juliet.”
A veteran producer, Magnusson has twice won this prize for “Election Night” (1999) and “Helium” (2013), and was nominated for “Ernst & lyset” (1996), “Wolfgang” (1997), and “Helmer & søn” (2006). This is the first nomination for Bang. They compete against “Ennemis interieurs,” “La femme et le TGV,” “Mindenki” (“Sing”),” and “Timecode.”