Garagefilm International, the leading Swedish company behind Goteborg Film Festival’s opening movie “Amateurs” by Gabriela Pichler, is reteaming with Lisa Aschan for her next feature, “Call Mum!”
“Call Mum!,” now in development, will be an emotional drama exploring mother-daughter relations.
“Parents wait all their lives for their children to say thank you and children wait all their lives for their parents to say I’m sorry. Neither will happen (in this film),” said Anna-Maria Kantarius, producer at Garagefilm International.
Shooting is planned for this autumn. The project is backed by the Swedish Film Institute, SVT, Film I Väst and Nordic Film and TV Fund. SF Studios has taken Swedish distribution and international sales rights.
Aschan made her feature debut with “She Monkeys,” which won prizes at Berlin, Tribeca, Goteborg, as well as three Guldbagge Awards (Sweden’s top film awards). She then directed “White People,” a science fiction prison thriller which earned five Guldbagge Awards nominations.
Aschan most recently directed the short film “God is Silent” which pays homage to Ingmar Bergman, and is playing as part of “Bergman Revisited” at Goteborg, along with shorts by Tomas Alfredson, Liv Strömqvist and Pernilla August.
Garagefilm International produced “God is Silent,” on top of two other shorts playing at Goteborg: Ester Martin Bergsmark’s “Swedish Candy, Some violence and a Bit of Cat,” and Jennifer Rainsford and Lena Bergendahl’s “Birds in Space.”
Speaking to Variety, Kantarius said Garagefilm International was working with some of the most interesting feature film directors in Scandinavia today- Gabriela Pichler, Ester Martin Bergsmark, Lisa Aschan and Maria Bäck — whose vast majority are women.
“I did not choose them because of gender, but because each of them possesses a unique tone that comes across whatever genre or theme the take on. This is the most important criteria for me,” explained Kantarius.
Kantarius said Pichler, for instance, was a unique director who has “socially-minded heart and a raised fist.”
“There are many Swedish directors that have a political and social take on drama but I have not encountered anyone with the mix that Gabriela possesses, which I believe is so important if you want your films to reach out to an audience beyond the one passionate about arthouse films,” added Kantarius.
“Amateurs” is set in the small municipality of Lafors, which hopes to solve its economic drought by attracting a German discount supermarket. Local teenagers are asked to produce films about their hometown to promote its appeal, but the films don’t turn out as expected. The project gets called off, but two young girls decide to continue working on their documentary anyway.
Kantarius praised the actors in “Amateurs,” 95% of which had never starred in a movie. “It’s one of the rare films that actually reflects the Sweden and the world I live in and know. It’ s complex, it’s absurd and seldom portrayed,” said the producer.