GOTEBORG — Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen’s “Valley of Shadows,” Johannes Nyholm’s “The Giant” and Katja Wik’s “The Ex-Wife” are among the flurry of promising debut features set to be showcased at the 17th edition of Goteborg’s Nordic Film Market.
“The Giant” turns on Rikard, a 30-year old man suffering from autism who is haunted by the loss of his mother from whom he was separated at birth. Escaping into an imaginary world where he is a 50-meter tall giant, Rikard sets off to win a petanque tournament, convinced that his mother will take him back.
Produced by Garage Film, “The Giant” marks the anticipated debut feature of Nyholm, who has had three shorts – “Las Palmas,””Puppet Boy” and “Dreams from the Woods” — at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight. “Las Palmas” also played at Sundance.
“Valley of Shadows,” a Norwegian supernatural thriller, takes place in the Norwegian bible belt and centers on a young boy who gets lost in the wilderness of a forbidden forest. Pic is being produced by Alan R. Milligan at Film Farms, whose credits includes Un Certain Regard winner “Rams.” Hengameh Panahi’s Celluloid Dreams nabbed the project following its presentation at Les Arcs’s Coproduction Village. Gulbrandsen was nominated for an Amanda Award with his short “Everything Will Be OK.”
“The Ex-Wife,” a drama laced with comedy, depicts an accommodating girlfriend, a fretful wife and a brooding ex-wife and their respective relationships. Wik previously worked with Ruben Östlund at Plattform where she handled the casting of “Force Majeure,”Play” and “Involuntary.” Project is being produced by Wik’ and Marie Kjellson’s new shingle Kjellson & Wik. Kjellson produced “Force Majeur.”
“Göteborg Film Festival’s ambition is to bring the world to the Nordic countries and Nordic films to the world, and Nordic Film Market is key to achieving this aim,” said Nordic Film Market’s head of industry Cecilia Edström, who added that the selection reflects the breadth and diversity of Nordic talent across Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
“This year’s lineup is rich in directorial debuts from filmmakers who have a festival pedigree and are exploring diverse genres,” pointed out Edström.
Other notable debuts set for the Nordic Film Lab’s Works in Progress include “The Boyfriend” by actress-turned-helmed Fanni Metelius. Metelius, who toplined Ruben Östlund’s “Force Majeure,” plays the lead in “The Boyfriend.” Metelius’s short, “Unruly,” competed at Berlin.
Meanwhile, Norwegian helmer Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken is presenting two feature pix-in-post, “Late Summer,” about a Norwegian author dying of cancer whose secluded, isolated life in the French countryside gets turns upside down by the arrival of a young couple on vacation; and “The Cave,” a psychological thriller following three Norwegian veterans who explore a doomed cave system on a deserted mountain. Dahlsbakken’s directorial debut, “Returning,” opened at Rome and was shortlisted to represent Norway in Oscar foreign-language race last year.
Edström also said the the Works in Progress selection will present singular hybrid productions such as “Wolf and Sheep,” Shahrbanoo Sadat’s fantasy-filled drama looking at life in a rural town of Afghanistan. A Kabul-based screenwriter, director and producer, Sadat had a first short “Vice Versa One” open at Directors’ Fortnight and docu feature “Not At Home” play at Rotterdam. Sadat started developing “Wolf and Sheep” at Cannes’ Cinefondation in 2010.
The Nordic Film Market is also turning the spotlight on completed buzzed-about Scandinavian movies, including Puk Grasten’s “37,” Henrik Ruben Genz’s “Satisfaction 1720” and Ali Abbasi’s “Shelley.”
Abbasi’s feature debut, “Shelley” is a chiller starring Cosmina Stratan, who won best actress at Cannes for “Beyond the Hills,” Ellen Dorrit Petersen, the star of “Blind,” and “The Bridge” thesp Peter Christoffersen. Indie Sales reps the movie which will be playing next month at Berlin.
“37,” repped by LevelK, is a drama centering around the real-life murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens starring Samira Wiley (“Orange Is the New Black”) and Michael Potts (“True Detective”).
“Satisfaction 1720” weighs in as a historical drama about the post-war exploits of Vice-Admiral Tordenskjold, called the “rock star of his day.”
Also set to play at the Nordic Film Market are Hannes Holm’s Swedish B.O. hit comedy “A Man Called Ove” and Mads Matthiesen’s Paris-fashion-industry set “The Model,” both of which are sold by TrustNordisk, as well as Aleksi Salmenperä’s “The Mine,” repped by The Yellow Affair, and Rune Denstad Langlo’s refugee dramedy “Welcome to Norway!” which Beta Cinema has already sold in major territories.
In total, the Nordic Film Market’s full lineup includes 17 finished feature films, 20 Works in Progress titles and eight projects as part of the Film Lab Discovery.
The four-day confab runs Feb. 4-7.
NORDIC FILM MARKET FEATURE FILMS
“37,” (Dir: Puk Grasten; Denmark)
“Satisfaction 1720,” (Dir: Henrik Ruben Genz; Denmark)
“Shelley,” (Dir: Ali Abbasi; Denmark)
“The Model,” (Dir: Mads Matthiesen; Denmark)
“Tale Of A Lake,” (Dirs: Marko Rohr, Jim Saarniluoto; Finland)
“The Mine,” (Dir: Aleksi Salmenpera; Finland)
“The Look Of A Killer,” (Dir: Lauri Nukse; Finland)
“In Front Of Others,” (Dir: Oskar Jonasson; Iceland)
“Reykjavik,” (Dir: Asgriumur Sverrisson; Iceland)
“Doing Good,” (Dir: Margret Olin; Norway)
“Welcome To Norway,” (Dir: Rune Denstad Langlo; Norway)
“A Holy Mess,” (Dir: Helena Bergstrom; Sweden)
“A Man Called Ove,” (Dir: Hannes Holm; Sweden)
“I Called Him Morgan,” (Dir: Kasper Collin; Sweden)
“The Garbage Helicopter,” (Dir: Jonas Selberg Augusten; Sweden)
“The Yard,” (Dir: Mans Mansson; Sweden)
“Under The Pyramid,” (Dir: Axel Petersen; Sweden)
NORDIC FILM MARKET WORKS IN PROGRESS
“Across The Fields,” (Dir: Daniel Joseph Borgman; prod: Katja Adomeit; Denmark)
“Across The Waters,” (Dir: Nicolo Donato; prod: Peter Bech; Denmark)
“Cold Case Hammarskjöld,” (Dir: Mats Brügger; prod: Peter Engel; Denmark)
“Finale,” (Dir: Søren Juul Petersen; prod: Jacob Kondrup ; Denmark)
“In The Blood,” (Dir: Rasmus Heisterberg; prod: Caroline Schlüter Bingestam; Denmark)
“Wolf And Sheep,” (Dir: Shahrbanoo Sadat,; prod: Katja Adomeit ; Denmark)
“Devil’s Bride,” (Dir: Saara Cantell; prod: Markku Flink; Finland)
“Little Wing,” (Dir: Selma Vilhunen; prod: Kaarle Aho Kai Nirdberg; Finland)
“The Happiest Day In The Life of Olli Maki,” (Dir: Juho Kuosmanen; prod: Jussi Rantamäki; Finland)
“I Remember You,” (Dir Oskar Thor Axelsson; prod: Skuli Malmquist; Iceland)
“Late Summer,” (Dir: Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken; prod: Asmund Kjos Fjell; Norway)
“The Rules For Everything,” (Dir: Kim Hiorthoy; prod: Yngve Saether; Norway)
“The Cave,” (Dir: Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken; prod: Åsmund Kjos Fjell; Norway)
“The Lion Woman,” (Dir: Vibeke Idsoe; prod: John M Jacobsen; Norway)
“Valley of Shadows,” (Dir: Jonas Matzow Guldbrandsen; prod: Alan R Milligan; Norway)
“Harry Schein,” (Dir: Maud Nycander; prod: Rebecka Hamberger; Sweden)
“Sami Blood,” (Dir: Amanda Kernell; prod: Lars Lindstrom; Sweden)
“The Boyfriend,” (Dir: Fanni Metelius; prods: Rebecka Lafrenz, Mimmi Spang; Sweden)
“The Ex-Wife,” (Dir: Katja Wik; prod: Marie Kjellson; Sweden)
“The Giant,” (Dir: Johannes Nyholm; prod: Maria Dahlin; Sweden)
NORDIC FILM LAB DISCOVERY
“The Distant Barking Of Dogs,” (Dir: Simon Lereng Wilmont; prod Monica Hellström; Denmark)
“The Holy Spider,” (Dir: Ali Abbasi; prod: Jonas Wagner; Denmark)
“The Charmer,” (Dir: Milad Alami; prod Stinna Lassen; Denmark)
“Boys On A Train,” (Dirs: Petri Lukkainen, Thomas Daneskov; prod: Kirstine; Denmark, Finland)
“The Waleed Ahmed Story,” (Dir: Emil Trier; prod: Natalya Sarch, Thomas Robsahm; Norway)
“Psychosis In Stockholm,” (Dir: Maria Bäck; prod: Anna Maria Kantarius; Sweden)
“The Chauffeur,” (Dirs and prods: Mistre Tesfaye, Arvin Kananian; Sweden)
“Shield,” (Dir: Ellen Fiske; prod: Tomas Smulkis; Sweden, Lithuania and Denmark)