A Man Called Ove
Photo: Johan Bergmark

Move continues expansion in Sweden for Scandinavian major

Last year Nordisk Film opened a new Swedish production company, Avanti Sweden, with three Swedish producers: Charlotta Denward, Anna Anthony and Anna Croneman. It also closed a deal with Swedish regional film centre, Film Väst, and Swedish pubcaster SVT to invest up to €2.7 million ($3.0 million) per title in a couple of films – either arthouse films with a large audience potential, or more commercial productions with a high quality.

It has started to pay off – Nordisk co-produced (and distributed) Swedish director Hannes Holm’s comedy-drama “A Man Called Ove,” which won three Guldbagga Awards – Sweden’s national film prizes – including best actor (Rolf Lassgård) and the Audience Award, and is now closing in on 1.5 million admissions in the local cinemas.

“Sweden has really been a problem for a couple of years – Swedish filmmakers have left the country to work on international projects, others have concentrated on television projects. Actually, for the first time in a long period, we can now present a shooting schedule with some very interesting features,” Lone Korslund, Nordisk Film CEO, Nordic acquisitions and co-productions, told Variety.

Two of the co-productions will be produced by Anna Croneman, for Avanti Sweden: Swedish director Kari Fahlén’s “All Inclusive,” a Swedish version of Danish director Hella Joof’s 2014 dramedy, from Mette Heeno’s screenplay; and Swedish director Mikael Marcimain’s adaptation of Swedish author Stefan Spjut’s thriller, “Stallo.”

Nordisk will co-produce Swedish director Janus Metz’s ”Borg vs McEnroe,” portraying the life of Swedish tennis player Björn Borg – who won his last Wimbledon tournament in 1980, and ended his career in 1983 – in a screenplay by Ronnie Sandahl, produced by Jon Norstedt for Tre Vänner. Also three biopics of other Swedish celebrities are on the line-up.

The deal with Sweden’s Partners in Stories ”will give us a fantastic opportunity to get closer to leading Swedish authors in our constant search for good stories with a strong audience potential,” explained Korslund, who is looking for rights Nordisk can develop internally or with external Scandinavian and international partners.

“The aim is to strengthen the Swedish film industry through even more successful storytelling on film and TV,” Korslund added. Nordisk has further reinforced its television department by naming Danish producer Tomas Radoor head of TV drama. Since he left the Danish National Film School, Radoor has put together 25 feature productions, including Danish director Tobias Lindholm’s Oscar-nominated ”A War.”

Founded in 2013, Partners in Stories, aiming to be a “literary hothouse,” represents, among others, Swedish authors Mari Jungstedt, Ruben Eliassen, Stefan Ahnhem, Lena Andersson, Åke Edwardson, Klas Östergren, Stefan Spjut, Helena von Zweigbergk and Peter Englund. It co-produced the Stockholm stage production of Fredrik Backman’s “A Man Called Ove.”

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