GIFFONI50PLUS - 21.31 JULY 2021



Category: Edition 2021

Christmas is just around the corner in the little village Borington and everyone is preparing for the holidays – everyone except for eleven-year-old refugee Sara. Afraid of having to leave the country, she constantly hides from the police and takes refuge in a vacant house. There she has an incredible encounter: a shy animal has lost its way and crashes into the very same house. She can hardly believe her own eyes when she realizes – it is a dragon.
In the house next door lives the aspiring young YouTube star Mortimer who has to feed the fish when his neighbor is on vacation. So, one day the boy ends up discovering Sara and the dragon. Can the three outsiders overcome their fears and team up?

Original Title Dragevokterens jul
Category Official Competition
Section Elements +6
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 82'
Production Year 2020
Nationality Czech Republic, Norway
Directed by Katarina Launing
Screenplay Lars Gudmestad, Harald Rosenløw-Eeg
Director of photography Trond Tønder
Editor Silje Nordseth, Anders Bergland
Animation Peer Lemmers
Production Design Nina Bjerch Andresen
Costume Design Michaela Hořejší
Sound Marco Vermaas
Make up Stanislava Kolářová
Music Jan P. Muchow, Michal Novinski
Main cast Isha Zainab Khan
Iver Aunbu Sandemose
Anders Baasmo Christiansen
Kyrre Haugen Sydness
Vanessa Borgli
Produced by Frederick Howard, Lars Andreas Hellebust
Production Storm Films (Norway)


Katarina LauningKatarina Launing

Born in Sweden 1971, Katarina Launing moved to Norway in 1997 and graduated from the Norwegian Film School as a director in 2000. She’s also studied film in Sweden. Her films have received critical acclaim as well as being popular with the audience.
Her first feature MAGIC SILVER co-directed with Roar Uthaug, was a huge box office hit in Norway. Nominated for two national Amanda Awards and World Cinemas Grand Prize, it was sold to over 50 countries and travelled festivals worldwide and was selected in Giffoni in 2010. Her second feature KICK IT! premiered in Norwegian cinemas early 2014 to a massive critical acclaim. The film was a remake of the Dutch film COOL KIDS DON’T CRY. It was nominated for three Amanda Awards, and topped its Festival Journey with the EFCA Award – Best European Film at BUFF. In 2018 Katarina presented the feature BATTLE. The film was a Dutch-Norwegian-Danish-Swedish co-production and was sold to Netflix. In 2019, she was involved in two crime series WISTING and TAINTED. DRAGON GIRL (2020), is Katarina’s fourth feature film, and is a Czech-Dutch-Norwegian co-production.

Director’s statement
«As a kid, I used to love "Gremlins" and "E.T". Movies that through fast-paced stories with humor and warmth took me to universes where anything could – and did happen! It is a dream for me as a director to be able to give families such a story today. A film with depth, empathy and excitement. The kind of film that once inspired me to become a film narrator.
The Dragon Girl is a magical Christmas fairytale for the whole family with a soul deeply rooted in European folklore. It is a story about achieving the unimaginable and what it really means to have faith in those around you.
Eleven-year-old Sara is a lonely, orphaned outsider. She lives on the fringes of society, on the run from the police and everyone else. Her life takes a sudden turn when a scared and conspicuous baby dragon ends up in her lap. To help the dragon and herself, she is forced to gain the dragon’s trust and face her biggest fear — trusting the people around her. Through her perilous journey, she learns that only through putting yourself out there and risking the pain of rejection can you truly gain friendship and connection. And that friendship is its own miracle, somehow making life trials seem a little less hard.»

Storm Films (Norway) 

international distribution
festival contact
Sola Media GmbH (Germany)

Italian distribution
Koch Media (Italy)