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English Titles W

Wallah Be

Original title: Kald mig bare Aksel
German title: Nenn' mich einfach Axel
Denmark, 2002

Director: Bovin, Pia
Production company: Zentropa Productions ApS Filmbyen, DK-2650 Hvidovre
Co-producers: The Danish Film Institute
Age recommendation: 8 years and up

Synopsis:
Ten-year-old Axel lives with his mother and his older sister in a typical suburban low-income housing block. With a week's autumn break ahead, he has to get used to the idea of spending his days at the local youth club. He isn't looking forward to it. But, as it turns out, the club isn't all that bad. Thanks to a stray dog and a singing competition organised by the club, Alex makes friends with two girls. Annika and Fatima live in the same area – Annika is from a sheltered Danish background and Fatima from a large Palestinian family. Together, it seems, they are going to have an enjoyable autumn break after all. But it doesn't work out quite as they envisaged it. Things go wrong. Fatima is grounded. Now Axel has to do what he can to salvage the situation: the singing competition, the dog and the school holidays. (Nordic Filmdays Luebeck 2002)

Comments:
This film deals with an important subject. The story is told with humor and promotes
understanding of other cultures. The film has great energy and performances. The point of view is clearly that of the children. It is realistic and unsentimental, while still being entertaining and warm. (Jury Kinderfilmfestival Berlin 2003)

Interesting plot, seems like they were trying a new kind of film! It was interesting to find out about Muslims and we thought the film was good because it promoted racial equality, but overall it was a bit weird and not one for everybody (Young People's Jury at Leeds Children's Film Festival 2003)

"It made us laugh out-loud because it was so funny. You really should see this" (Sam & Patrick, Leeds Children's Film Festival 2003)

The jury qualified this debut as a respectful and at the same time humorous approach to day-to-day reality in a society facing cultural differences.

Festivals:
Luebeck 2002, Kinderfilmfest Berlin 2003 (awarded), Malmö 2003, Leeds 2003, Munich 2003, Stuttgart 2003, Buster Copenhagen 2003, Cinekid Amsterdam 2003 (awarded), Cologne 2003, Duesseldorf 2003, Münster 2003, Vienna 2003 (awarded), Chicago 2003 (awarded), Oulu 2003, Gijon 2003, Augsburg 2003, Montevideo 2003 (awarded), Istanbul 2003, Antwerp/Brugge 2004, Castellinaria Bellinzona 2004

Website: www.dfi.dk/dfi/english/featurefilms/wallahbe.html

Study guide: www.kaldmigbareaksel.dk

World sales address/es:
TrustNordisk Int. Sales (DK)

Sold to:
Nordisk Film Biografdistr. (DK)
Folkets Bio (SE)
Alpha Medienkontor (D)
Matthias-Film (D)
Bundesverband Jugend und Film (DE)
Park Junior (NL)
unknown
WDR (D)