Can Sweden Live Up to its 2014 Cannes Lineup?

It’s hard to see how Sweden can improve upon its performance at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, when helmer Ruben Ostlund’s “Force Majeure” became the first Swedish film to win the Jury Prize in the fest’s Certain Regard section. Moreover, Hungarian-German-Swedish co-production “White God” nabbed Certain Regard’s main award. In contrast, this year’s Swedish selections focus more on celebrating new talent and feting an iconic star of the past.

Although Sweden may lack high-profile competitors in the main selection, the country is in the spotlight, thanks to the festival poster adorned by beloved Swedish-born star Ingrid Bergman. A docu about the thesp, Stig Bjorkman’s “Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words” (“Jag ar Ingrid”), will world-preem at the fest as the opening pic in Cannes Classics. And Bergman’s daughter, Isabella Rossellini, will head the Certain Regard jury.

Plus, Directors’ Fortnight premieres Magnus von Horn’s feature debut “The Here After” (“Efterskalv”), a Swedish-Polish-French co-production, and David Sandberg’s 30-minute action comedy “Kung Fury.”

More young Swedish talent is on view at Critics’ Week, where Isabella Carbonell’s short “Boys” (“Pojkarna”) competes. And for young audiences, Cannes Ecrans Juniors will feature “My Skinny Sister” (“Min lilla syster”), helmed by Sanna Lenken. Another young talent, Annika Rogell,  was selected for European Film Promotion’s prestigious networking platform Producers on the Move. Sales agent TrustNordisk will screen first-look material from “A Man Called Ove,” a dramedy based on the bestseller by Fredrik Backman, directed by Hannes Holm. TrustNordisk also sells “Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words” and “The Here After.”

According to Simon Perry, production chief for film fund and production house Film i Väst, several Swedish projects will be hunting for co-production partners in Cannes.

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