Dag Johan Haugerud's new feature film Beware of Children will get its world premiere in the Venice Days’ competition, taking place from August 28 to September 7, 2019.

Henriette Steenstrup in Dag Johan Haugerud's Beware of Children. Photo: Motlys.

"Beware of Children has become a wonderful film that speaks wisely and entertaining about trying to be a decent person in a difficult situation," says producer Yngve Sæther in Motlys. - I am very proud of a deeply humanistic film that, with a sharp and warm look, portrays the challenges of living in a polarized time. We are looking forward to the world premiere in Venice before the Norwegian premiere on September 13th.

Critically acclaimed director

Beware of Children is a warm and gripping drama, written and directed by Dag Johan Haugerud, who also made the critically acclaimed feature film I Belong (2012). In Beware of Children, we meet a star team of Norwegian actors, with Henriette Steenstrup, Thorbjørn Harr, Jan Gunnar Røise, Andrea Bræin Hovig, Hans Olav Brenner and Anne Marit Jacobsen in the lead. Beware of Children is Haugerud's second feature film and describes what happens to a local community when a child kills another child.
What is it like to be a child in Scandinavian today, and what does it involve having children? What do we expect from our kids, and what kind of position do we want children to have in our society?

About the film

Beware of Children traces the dramatic aftermath of a tragic event in a middle-class suburb of Oslo. During a break in school 13-year-old Lykke, the daughter of a prominent Labour Party member, seriously injures her classmate Jamie, the son of a high-profile right-wing politician. When Jamie later dies in hospital, contradicting versions of what actually happened risks making a difficult and traumatic situation worse. Was it only innocent play behind? Liv, the school’s principal and the secret lover of Jamie’s father, must find the strength to confront a community in distress, and her own highly conflicted emotions.

Norwegian - Swedish co-production with grants from the Norwegian Film Institute

The film is produced by Yngve Sæther for Norwegian Motlys, in co-production with Tomas Eskilson for Swedish Film i Väst and Erik Hemmendorf for Swedish Plattform Produktion. The film has received euro 1,3 million in production grants from the Norwegian Film Institute.


Arthaus is the Norwegian distributor while international sale is handled by Picture Tree International.

Read more about Beware of Children and Venice Days

Director and screenwriter Dag Johan Haugerud

Director and screenwriter Dag Johan Haugerud (born in 1964). He is educated as a librarian, with additional courses, to the equivalent of a Bachelors Degree, in Film Sciences from Stockholm University, as well as studies in dramaturgy from the University of Oslo and creative writing studies from Telemark University College.

He has worked as a journalist, and as dramatist for various dance- and theatre-companies. He has also published four novels Noe med natur (1999), Den som er veldig sterk, må også være veldig snill (2002), Hva jeg betyr (2011) and Enkle atonale stykker for barn (2016) for which he won the NRK P2-listeners Novel Prize.
He made his debut as a film director with the short 16 Living Clichés in 1998, and has since directed numerous short films, many of which award-winners - as for example Lust (2000), which won the Grand Prix at the Norwegian Short Film Festival in Grimstad. 
I Belong (2012), Haugerud's feature film debut, was awarded the Norwegian Film Critics' Prize and four Norwegian Amanda awards. His next film, I'm the One You Want (2014), a 53 minute film consisting of a single monologue also received a theatrical release. His second feature, Beware of Children, will premiere in Venice Days 2019.

Production company Motlys

Motlys, founded in 1983, is one of Scandinavia’s leading production companies. Motlys has produced numerous award-winning productions, including Joachim Trier’s Thelma, Louder Than Bombs and Oslo, August 31st, as well as Eskil Vogt´s debut Blind, the drama series Home Ground and upcoming features Beware of Children (Dag Johan Haugerud), Hope (Maria Sødahl) and The Art of Falling (Yngvild Sve Flikke).

Contact: Yngve Sæther | ynge@motlys.com