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Eurocinema stages Scandi fest

Lineup includes 'Upperdog,' 'Beloved,' 'Dark Horse'

CANNES — “Upperdog,” “Beloved,” “Dark Horse” and “A Family” have been added to the first annual Scandinavia On Demand Film Festival.

Organized by movie channel Eurocinema On Demand, teaming with Nordisk Film & TV Fund and Diva, the six-month 12-title fest targets 36 million TV homes in North America. It runs from May 1.

Sara Johnsen’s “Upperdog,” a youth drama, topped August’s Norwegian Amanda Awards.

Sweden’s “Beloved,” a young dropout’s self-discovery movie, won lead Alicia Vikander’s selection as a Berlin Shooting Star and marked out helmer-scribe Lisa Langseth as a talent to track.

Denmark’s “Dark Horse,” an offbeat dramedy about a graffiti-artist from Iceland’s Dagur Kari, scooped best film at the Gothenberg, Transilvania, Ljubljana and Brussels European fests.

The third film from Dane Pernille Fischer Christensen (“A Soap”), “A Family” turns on a dying father-career daughter relationship.

Pics join four already available titles: Maria Sodahl’s ’70s Trinidad-set “Limbo”; “Suddenly,” a father-son reconciliation drama with Michael Nyqvist; the critically-praised Danish political conspiracy thriller “King’s Game,” the feature debut of Nikolaj Arcel, who went on to co-write “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” plus Arcel’s later “Truth About Men.”

Following Unifrance’s international online My French Film Festival this January, the Scandi VOD spread reps another thrust by a significant European film power to broaden its international audiences via VOD.

“We have been actively looking for a platform to showcase for North American audiences the award-winning but often overlooked film titles” from Scandinavia, Nordisk CEO Hanne Palmquist said.

Launched 2005, Eurocinema recently signed carriage on Comcast. It now reaches almost 90% of U.S. cable homes, said Sebastien Perioche, prexy, Eurocinema On Demand.

Crucially, it is accessed via the TV set.

Nordisk participates in the festival’s marketing. Viewers are charged $3.99-6.99 for a pay-per-use 24-hour rental on each film. Rights holders share income after costs-off-the-top — for set-up, promotion, Eurocinema marketing — on a split revenue model, Perioche said.

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