'Sophie's World' a goldmine for Svensk subsid

OSLO — Norwegian distributor SF Norge, a subsidiary of Sweden’s Svensk Filmindustri, almost tripled its profits in 1999 due to its participation in Norwegian director Erik Gustavson’s “Sophie’s World,” based on Jostein Gaarder’s bestseller.

SF Norge managing director Guttorm Petterson has invested in another three local productions, buying Nordic rights for Hans Petter Moland’s “Aberdeen,” starring Stellan Skarsgard and Lena Headey, which will close the Norwegian Intl. Film Festival in Haugesund on Sept. 2.

SF Norge has also chipped in for “Junk Mail” director Pai Sletaune’s latest feature, to be readied for early 2001, and Seven Seas Prods.’ fully animated “Captain Sabletooth,” scheduled for summer 2002.

“Sophie’s” for world

Having originally purchased “Sophie’s World” only for Scandinavia, the company picked up international rights and was credited as co-producer of the NRK Drama production, which went on to sell to more than 60 territories.

In Norway it generated 208,000 admissions.

With 9.3% of the Norwegian market — reduced two years ago when Columbia TriStar left to set up its own distrib with Egmont — SF Norge posted $1.6 million profits (against $600,000 in 1998) on revenues of $19 million.

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