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Variety throws a spotlight on rising Scandinavian talent at the Stockholm Festival.

Levan Akin

Director

Director of the adaptation of Swedish fantasy best-seller “The Circle,” above, with Swedish composer Benny Andersson of ABBA as one of the producers at RMV Film. Akin’s feature debut, “Certain People,” world
preemed at Stockholm in 2011 and unspooled at several festivals, including Tribeca. Akin has also directed episodes of critically lauded TV series for Swedish Television, among them sci-fi drama “Real Human,” which has sold to more than 50 countries. Akin has also had a successful career as short filmmaker.

Axel Petersen

Director

Petersen’s feature debut, “Avalon,” won the Fipresci Prize in Toronto in 2011, was screened at Berlinale 2012 and picked up two Swedish Guldbagge awards. Petersen is currently shooting his sophomore feature, “Under the Pyramid,” in Sweden and Egypt, starring Danish actress Stine Fischer Christensen (“After the Wedding”) and David Dastmalchian. Erika Wasserman, who produced “Avalon,” at Idyll is producing the film. Petersen, who graduated from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, is one of several high-profile Swedish directors springing from art schools.

Jens Ostberg

Popular on Variety

Director

Having spent 20 years in dance, performance and choreography, and after a number of shorts, Ostberg made his feature debut at Stockholm Film Festival last week with the psychological thriller “Blowfly Park,” starring Sverrir Gudnason and shot by Mans Mansson. Producers Rebecka Lafrenz and Mimmi Spang at arthouse shingle Garagefilm, which also was behind Mikael Marcimain’s “Call Girl” in 2012. “My aim (with “Blowfly Park”) was to tell a dark story about what happens when someone loses control through bad decisions,” says Ostberg, who was inspired by American cinema of the 1970s as well as by contemporary directors Gus van Sant and Jacques Audiard.

Bitte Andersson

Director

With a passion for B-films and a patchwork of small funds, Andersson’s feature debut “Dyke Hard” is a wild John Waters-inspired comedy following a lesbian rock band’s violent adventures in the 1980s. Andersson is originally a comic book artist but learned about filmmaking while working as a special effect artist at the U.S. shingle Troma, known for the “Toxic Avenger” movies. “Dyke Hard” started as a school project but Swedish shingle Filmlance got behind it and it’s distributed locally by Njutafilms. Andersson’s background in D.I.Y. culture comes out in her work, which  explores a lesbian feminist point of view with a great dose of humor and a love for imperfection.

Anna-Maria Kantarius

Producer

One of Sweden’s talented producers, Kantarius graduated from the Danish Film School. Kantarius’ upcoming production at Garagefilm is Lisa Aschan’s (“She Monkeys”) highly anticipated “White People,” starring Pernilla August and Vera Vitali. Kantarius has previously produced Ester Martin Bergsmark’s “She Male Snails” and “Something Must Break,” the latter winning the Tiger Award at Rotterdam earlier this year. Kantarius is also producing “Forece Majeure” star Fanni Metelius’ directorial debut “The Boyfriend,” and she is also developing the new feature film of director Gabriela Pichler (”Eat Sleep Die”).

Selma Vilhunen

Director

Vilhunen is a Finnish director and screenwriter of both fiction and documentary films, one of the founding members of the Helsinki-based production company Tuffi Films. Vilhunen’s latest works as a director include the 2014 feature documentary “Song” and “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?,” nominated for an Academy Award for best short earlier this year. Her new feature film project, “Stupid Young Heart,” is about a 15-year-boy, raised by a single mom, who is confronted by the pressures of adult life when his girlfriend tells him she is pregnant.

Elli Toivoniemi

Producer

Finnish producer Toivoniemi stands behind Oscar nominated short film “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?” and the Sundance awarded short film “The Date.” Toivoniemi is the head producer and co-founder of Tuffi Films. Her first feature film was 2011’s “The Good Son,” directed by Zaida Bergroth, which was a festival hit. She is now producing Selma Vilhunen’s ”Stupid Young Heart.”

Peter Gronlund

Director

Gronlund has made himself a name as a short filmmaker, with his pic “The Clearing” was nominated for a Guldbagge in 2013. His feature debut “Tjuvheder” (working title) is now shooting in Stockholm, a drama thriller about an indebted street pusher Minna who decides to cheat a few young criminals. Pic is produced by Frida Bargo and Mattias Nohrborg at shingle B-Reel. With a strong social, commitment Gronlund is one of Sweden’s most promising new directors.

Beata Gardeler

Director

Gardeler made her feature debut with “In Your Veins” in 2009, which marked the helmer’s and Swedish thesp Joel Kinnaman’s local breakthrough. Gardeler has also directed the popular Swedish Television series “30 Degrees in February.” Last year, Gardeler won the Novella Award at Goteborg Film Festival, and she is now in post with her second feature, “Flocking,” a thriller about a community that turns against a teenage girl who’s accusing a schoolmate of raping her.

Annika Hellstrom

Producer

Producer of Beata Gardeler’s “Flocking” together with Agneta Fagerstrom Olsson at 2afilm. Hellstrom studied at New York U. and worked as a script supervisor, assistant director and producer for Swedish film and TV productions. She is also one of the producers of Ronnie Sandahl’s feature debut, “Underdog,” recently awarded a the critic’s prize for best debut at Zurich, the Golden Hugo at
the Chicago film festival and the Baltic award at the Nordic Film days in Lubeck.