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Göteborg: Eyewell Picks Up Antti-Jussi Annila’s ‘The Eternal Road’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Nominated for a record 13 Jussis, “The Eternal Road” joins an Israeli thriller, Norwegian prison drama and Swedish action-thriller on the company’s Berlin lineup

GOTEBORG, Sweden — Stockholm’s Eyewell has acquired world sales sales to Finnish director Antti-Jussi Annila’s historical drama “The Eternal Road,” which has just been nominated for a record 13 Jussis, Finland’s national film award.

The acquisition announcement was made at the Göteborg Intl. Film Festival by Eyewell managing director Michael Werner. “The Eternal Road” is one of four new films which Eyewell will introduce to buyers at this month’s Berlin International Film Festival.

Part of Finland 100, the celebration of Finnish independence from Russia in 1917, the film adapts Finnish author Antti Tuuri’s 2011 bestselling novel, based on true events, and starring Tommi Korpela (“The Other Side of Hope”) and Sidse Babett Knudsen (“Borgen”). It follows Jussi Ketola, who returns to Finland from the Great Depression but in 1930 is abducted by right-wing extremists and forced to walk so-called The Eternal Road to the Soviet Union, where he starts working on a collective farm. With Stalin’s purges, the workers’ paradise turns into hell. “The Eternal Road” is produced by Ilkka Matila for MRP Matila Röhr Productions.

Selling films since 1988 (for, among others, Nordisk Film, NonStop Sales, Turner Broadcasting Nordic & Baltic), Werner, who set up Eyewell five years ago, has also signed for Israeli director Eitan Gafny’s horror thiller ”Children of the Fall.” Noa Maiman, with Michael Ironside, plays a young immigrant with a dark secret in her past, who hopes to find a new home and serenity. Tom Goldwasser produced for White Beach Productions.

Norwegian actor-turned-writer-director Leon Bashir performs all of those roles in prison drama ”The Regulars,” his third feature, where he plays Josef, a full-time criminal who has spent most of his grown-up life behind bars. His brother dies, he robs another bank, but this time in prison he meets a young naïve boy, whom he tries to help not to follow the criminal path. Co-starring Selem Zina, Lars Arentz-Hansen and Lene Nyström, ”The Regulars” was produced by Nina Johnsen and Bashir for Norway’s Wanted Films.

Swedish actor-writer-director Fredrik Hiller also works in front and behind the cameras in his second feature, ”Operation Ragnarok,” which opens when a submarine with a military-engineered virus smashes into a city in southern Sweden. That turning the inhabitants – natives and immigrants – into monsters. Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson who plays The Mountain in Game of Thrones, Jonas Malmsjö, Per Ragnar and Eva Rydberg star in the LittleBig Productions and Kruthuset production, where the military considers firebombing the city prompting the question of who are the real monsters. The film has been pre-sold to Japan, Poland, Thailand, and China.

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