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Swedes send ‘Involuntary’ to Oscars

Multi-strand pic premiered at Cannes 2008

STOCKHOLM — “Involuntary,” helmed by Ruben Ostlund, has been tapped as Sweden’s contender for the foreign-language Oscar.

The pic, which was produced by Erik Hemmendorff for shingle Plattform, is a dark comedy with five unconnected storylines, all with the common theme of people’s inability to stand up for others or what they believe in. Apart from actress Maria Lundquist, all thesps are amateurs or unknowns.

Pic had its world preem in Un Certain Regard at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, and went on to win best film at the Brussels film fest, best director in Geneva, the special jury award in Mar del Plata, the Fipresci award in Miami, a special mention in Milan and both the audience award and the screenplay award for co-writers Ostlund and Hemmersdorff in Stockholm. Pic was nominated for five Swedish Golden Bugs, the national film award.

Next up for Ostlund is drama “Play,” also produced by Hemmendorff, about young thieves, with the action taking place in real time. Ostlund aims to have it ready in time to contend for a berth at next year’s Cannes.

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