Stockholm — B-Reel Feature Films is aiming to take advantage of the Hollywood heat surrounding Scandinavian pics in general and Swedish films in particular, thanks to crossover hits like “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and John Ajvide Lindqvist’s “Let the Right One In.”
The Stockholm-based shingle, part of B-Reel Group, a multimedia and commercials production company with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London and Stockholm, is expanding into English-language films and international co-productions, and has signed such high-profile Scandi helmers as Lindqvist, Pernilla August (“Beyond”), Lisa Langseth (“Pure”) and Mikael Marcimain (“Call Girl”), as well as Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig.
Among the films in B-Reel’s pipeline is the $9 million “Handling the Undead,” a zombie pic from Lindqvist that the company also will make as an English-language production directed by Kristian Petri. B-Reel development exec Patrik Andersson envisions a project with the kind of crossover potential of Lindqvist’s prior success: “What the ‘Let the Right One In’ did for the vampire films, we think ‘Handling the Undead’ will do for the zombie genre,” Andersson says.
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The company is riding high locally on docu “Palme,” about assassinated Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, which is the most profitable local doc in more than 30 years, with some 220,000 admissions to date.
B-Reel’s team includes Mattias Nohrborg, long-time distributor of arthouse cinema in Sweden, who guides the international funding and distribution arm; and development head Andersson, once a chief programmer at the Stockholm Film Festival.
“We are a very small creative group, but (as) part of B-Reel Group, we have more muscle and the inhouse knowledge to look outward,” says CEO of B-reel Fredrik Heinig, who adds that the group has a five-year plan to become a prime player in the Scandi film biz.
Other pics in B-Reel’s pipeline include the $14 million “Gentlemen/Gangster,” from Marcimain, set to start shooting in March. Like “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the pic is based on a bestselling series of books, this time from Klas Ostergren. Also like “Dragon Tattoo,” both feature and TV projects are planned, including a miniseries in co-production with Swedish Television; Wild Bunch is handling world sales.
Also on B-Reel’s slate:
• August’s followup to her debut feature “Beyond,” period love story “The Serious Game.” Scherfig adapted the script from the bestselling novel by Hjalmar Soderberg.
• Psychological drama “Hotel,” Langseth’s sophomore film after the acclaimed debut “Pure.” Based on her original script about modern life identity crisis, the film stars Alicia Vikander (“Anna Karenina”). B-Reel says the pic garnered good response at the recently wrapped AFM among sales agents and distribs, although Heinig wouldn’t be drawn on specifics.
“The task won’t be to fund the projects,” Heinig says, “but to make the right choices and to maintain artistic control.” What: B-Reel targets English-lingo remakes of Scandi films.
The takeaway: Using the model for previous crossover successes, the shingle eyes best-selling books and top helmers.