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Stockholm Festival: Swedish Film Grabs Global Attention

An exceptionally rewarding year for Swedish film is continuing abroad. At Cannes, Toronto and Venice, Swedish filmmakers are grabbing awards and notching sales.

Roy Andersson’s “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence,” above, won the Golden Lion at Venice, while also playing Toronto, where Mikael Marcimain’s “Gentlemen” unspooled. Both films were picked up for U.S. release by Magnolia, and Marcimain’s sophomore effort, repped by Wild Bunch, also has been acquired by Artificial Eye for the U.K. and by Lumiere for Benelux.

Ruben Ostlund’s “Force Majeure,” won the Jury Prize at Cannes and last week got two nominations at the European Film Awards, for best film and best director. It’s also in the foreign-language Oscar race, and receiving a lot of attention in its currect U.S. release.

Swedish debut “Blowfly Park” by Jens Ostberg made its world premiere at Stockholm last week, followed by film’s thesp Sverrir Gudnason winning the prize for best actor at Thessaloniki Film Festival. Gudnason is also one of the stars of “Gentlemen,” playing in competition at Stockholm.

Gudnason was recently cast in Pernilla August’s sophomore pic “The Serious Games,” an adaptation of a classic Swedish novel. Lone Scherfig wrote the script and pic is currently being shot by producer B-Reel in a Swedish/Danish/Norwegian co-production.

Several upcoming Swedish titles by high-profile directors should be delivered in time already for Berlin, including Lisa Aschan’s “White People,” Mans Mansson’s “The Yard,” Levan Akin’s “The Circle” and possibly Magnus von Horn’s “The Here After”; the two latter were presented as work-in-progress at Stockholm.

A much-talked-about Swedish mainstream pic is also taking shape, “A Man Called Ove,” an adaptation of Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel starring Rolf Lassgard. The book has sold nearly 700,000 copies in Sweden and rights have been sold to more than 30 territories including the rest of Scandinavia, France, the U.K. and Germany, where it is selling briskly. TrustNordisk has just closed Benelux and Germany prior to AFM.

Director Hannes Holm will start shooting in the spring 2015. Annica Bellander is producing for Tre Vanner/SF.

 

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