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Fire destroys film cache

Sweden's Triangelfilm suffers huge loss

STOCKHOLM — A devastating fire has destroyed most of the film prints belonging to Swedish distrib Triangelfilm. Among the prints destroyed were several of the new Swedish film “Capricciosa” and Roman Polanski’s “The Pianist.” Both films are to open in Sweden in August.

“Luckily, we’ve managed to order new prints already, so those premieres are not in danger,” Mattias Norhborg, managing director at Triangelfilm, told Daily Variety.

The company’s main office is in Malmo in the south of Sweden. The prints were kept in a warehouse in the outskirts of the city, where a fire broke out early Wednesday morning. Although the exact number of prints destroyed has not been tallied, it is believed to be in the hundreds.

The 15-year-old Triangelfilm is one of Sweden’s foremost distribs of arthouse films, and in recent years also has moved into producing its own pictures. Nohrborg said that among the films destroyed are early imports such as Emir Kusturica’s “Time of the Gypsies” and Krysztof Kieslowski’s “The Decalogue.” Also destroyed are many prints of films that have already played the big cities and that now were waiting to be shipped to cinemas in the smaller Swedish cities.

“I have been collecting films for years. A lot of those prints are destroyed, as is, naturally, part of the company’s history. It’s impossible to say what can be replaced. For some of the destroyed films, it might be impossible to find out who own the copyrights today,” said Norhborg.

He can’t say how the fire will affect Triangelfilm financially. “The prints were insured, but we will suffer when we have to cancel maybe hundreds of screenings out in the smaller towns. Triangelfilm is the main supplier of films to most of the cinemas in the countryside showing arthouse films,” Norhborg said.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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