SMI sees market potential in neighboring countries

All-Scandinavian distributor Sandrew Metronome has picked up Norwegian director Morten Tyldum’s “Buddy” and Swedish director Ulf Malmros’ “Slim Susie” for wider release.

“Scandinavian films are now performing so strongly in their own territories that they should have market potential in neighboring countries,” says SMI VP acquisitions Stine Helgeland.

While Norway has always been open to imports from other Scandinavian countries — Swedish directors Lukas Moodysson’s “Show Me Love” took 485,000 admissions, and Josef Fares’ “Cops” reached 292,000 — Denmark, Sweden and Finland have been difficult to penetrate.

“One of the reasons could be that, as with international launches, a Scandi film needs different publicity campaigns in each Scandi country. That has rarely been done,” Helgeland added.

SMI is organizing test screenings before local premieres, supported by the Nordic Film & TV Fund, to prepare the local release.

Already focusing on Scandinavian films, SMI has clinched first-look deals with Denmark’s Final Cut, M&M, Moonlight and Thura, Finland’s Blind Spot and Snappy, Norway’s Motlys and Friland, and Sweden’s Göta and Breidablik.

The intention is to secure a supply of 10-12 new titles annually.

Romantic comedy “Buddy,” the first film to get the VIP treatment, was released domestically in 52 prints Aug. 29, in the slipstream of last week’s Norwegian Fest in Haugesund, where it won the Audience Award. It bagged a similar prize at the recent Karlovy Vary Festival.

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